BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 15, Day 5: Matthew 14:22-36; Mark 6:45-56; John 6:14-21

Summary of passages:  Matthew 14:22-36:  After feeding the 5000, Jesus made the disciples go ahead of him in a boat while he dismissed the crowds.  Then he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.  The boat was a distance away from shore so Jesus walked on the water to get to the boat.  The disciples thought Jesus a ghost and were afraid.  Peter decides to ask the ghost to allow him to walk on water if the ghost is really Jesus.  So Peter does.  But Peter becomes afraid, loses faith, and starts sinking.  Jesus then grabs him and reprimands him for his lack of faith.

Then the disciples worshipped Jesus and declared him the Son of God.  They reached Gennesaret on the other side of the Sea of Galilee where the people recognized Jesus and brought him their sick, which he healed.

Mark 6:45-56:  Mark reveals that the disciples were straining against the oars so Jesus was about to walk by them when they were all terrified.  Jesus told them to not be afraid and he climbed in their boat.  They were amazed for they had not understood about the loaves and had hardened hearts.  All throughout the region people came and the sick were healed.

John 6:14-21: After Jesus performed the miracle of feeding 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, the people began to believe this was the Prophet sent to save them.  Thus, Jesus retreated to a mountaintop by himself so the people would not make him king.

That evening the disciples went off the mountain and set off across the lake for Capernaum.  It was dark and Jesus was still on the mountaintop.  The sea was rough and they weren’t making any progress towards shore.  Soon, they saw Jesus approach by walking on water and they were afraid.  But the disciples took Jesus in and immediately they landed on shore.

Questions:

12a)  Unsure what BSF means by “in the will of God”.  The answer is yes because we are all in the will of God no matter if we are believers or not.  God is in control of everything and everything happens due to his will to allow it to happen.  Verses referring to the storm:  Matthew 14:24, 32; Mark 6:48, 50; John 6:18, 21)

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I didn’t “learn” anything but I am reminded that God is in control; He sends storms be it sudden or not into our lives for a reason and He is there to rescue us and end the storms in our lives.  All storms pass and your storm will as well.

13a)  Peter had faith enough in Jesus to jump out onto a lake in the middle of a storm and walk on water

b)  Peter had faith until the storm got too intense and when his faith wavered he began to sink.

c)  Jesus rescues Peter despite his unbelief but then chastises him for his unbelief in the hope he will be strengthened.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s a reminder that God is always there in our troubles, right beside us, and He will rescue us at the moment we begin to drown even if our faith wavers.  All storms are temporary and this too shall pass.

14a)  The wind died down

b)  They worshipped Jesus, saying “Truly you are the Son of God.”

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It reminds me of Jesus’ compassion on all his flock.  It reminds me that God is infinite and His love is infinite and I pray every day to live that out to the best of my human ability.  Reading this of Jesus walking on water does not change my life; but God does.  With every breath I breathe, He works in and through me.  And that is life-altering.

Conclusions:  This is one of those lessons I did not enjoy because not everything I read in the Bible is life-changing in that instant or ever.  It may also not be manifest to the point I even realize it is life-altering.  It may just be a soaking up of God that adds to my reservoir of knowledge of God and my appreciation and love of Him.  I already know God is there for me.  I already know my storms will pass.  I already know who my rescuer and savior is.  Jesus’ walking on water does not “change my life”; it only adds to my life, making it more fuller and giving me a better picture of Jesus, who he is/was, and a deeper love of him.  Disappointing.

I complained yesterday about not reading John so I was eagerly looking forward to analyzing the John passage here.  Once again, disappointed for no questions even address John and the differences between the passages. I would have liked to know why they are so drastically different and why the towns are different, etc.  Why have us read John if no questions are asked on the passage?

Consequences of too many expectations, I guess.

End Notes:  The Prophet the people are referring to is found in Deuteronomy (18:15) where Moses is speaking.

Mark 6:48 has Jesus keeping his eyes on his disciples the entire time.  We are never out of God’s sight.

The disciples have been rowing for hours and still have only made it about half-way across the lake because of the storm (John 6:19).  I think this is why Jesus decides to help.  The wind is too strong.  The same in our lives. Jesus and God help when the winds become unbearable for us to bear.  Note also rowing is not easy.  Our lives are not easy and they are not meant to be easy.  Doing God’s work is hard for that tests us and grows us.  As believers, we should not expect the easy road.

God’s timing is perfect.  He appears at the precise moment we need comfort and reassurance, affirmation and just plain companionship.  He walks by our side all the days of our lives, through the calm and the storms, lifting us up and setting us down, encouraging us every step of the way, guiding us if we mis-step and re-directing us, as we do His work here on earth.

Jesus performs miracles for our benefit, not for His glory as we see vividly when he turns down the crown (John 6:15).  It is all for us.  Imagine how much greater our lives would be if we truly believed that in our heart of hearts.

Merry Christmas!!

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