15 January 2010

John 6 - With him or without him?

< John 5 | Index | John 7 >

John 6 is another very rich chapter. Which part should I choose? To tackle the entire chapter would need a lot more space than a blog post! There's the feeding of the five thousand (verses 1-15), A Galilean boat from New Testament timesthe events on the lake (verses 16-24), Yahshua's discussion about eating the living bread from heaven (verses 25-59), and the loss of many followers as a result (verses 60-71). These events are connected and most of them involve eating.

I'm going to focus on the section about the lake (the Sea of Galilee). The disciples acted much the way we do ourselves, there's a valuable lesson for us here in Kingdom living. The twelve disciples had seen the five loaves and the twelve baskets of pieces that were left, but what happens next?

Yahshua heads off alone into the mountains, the disciples get into a boat and set out to cross the lake without him. (Matthew and Mark describe events slightly differently, Yahshua tells them to go ahead on their own. But this doesn't alter the principle that when we do it alone we are likely to find it hard going.)

A strong wind blows up and the waves rise higher, not only that, the wind must be in the wrong direction because they row for three miles or more. To add to their troubles it's now dark. Have you ever felt like that? Life seems such hard work, progress is a struggle, you can't see where you're going, and the Lord is not with you. Do you know that feeling? Are you going through a patch like that right now? We've all been there!

At last they see Yahshua coming towards them. This would normally be great, but he's walking on the water and they are just petrified! How would you cope with this? How would I? On the beach we'd probably have a screaming fit and run away inland, but the twelve are in a small boat bobbing on a heavy sea with a strong wind blowing in the wrong direction. There's nowhere to go, except over the side of the boat!

In Matthew's account this is exactly what Peter does. Yahshua called to them, 'Courage! It's me, don't be afraid.' And Peter, do-it-first-and-think-later Peter replied, 'If it's you, Lord, tell me to walk out to meet you'.

And notice what happens next. He gets into the boat with them and immediately they arrive at their destination.

What a contrast! Without him, instead of sailing they had to row against the wind. But with him, they arrived immediately.

I don't think I need to spell the lesson out, it's obvious to all of us. So when you embark on any course of action do you think you'll be better off with Yahshua on board, or would you prefer to do it all yourself leaving him behind?

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