Daily Matthew Reflection by Angie Smith
There’s a lot going on in Matthew 14. Our reflection will focus on the two stories in the latter half of the chapter, Jesus feeds at least 5,000 people and Peter attempts to walk on water. Both stories remind us that humans often fail to see the big picture that God is painting. We see the small piece that we are a part of in a particular situation, it’s hard to look beyond current hopes and fears. God gets that, after all he made us, and because he gets it, he loves us through it and point us toward the whole canvas of creation.
In the first story the disciples decide that they don’t have enough food to feed everyone that has gathered to hear Jesus teach. By human standards they were right. Even the most skilled cooks among us couldn’t feed that many people with the resources they had. Jesus, however, is aware of the big picture. He feeds everyone. At a time when store shelves are practically empty and many of us are throwing together items from our pantries to make soup, it would be nice if Jesus would come multiply the bread (and the ice cream). Alas, this text isn’t really about food, it’s about faith.
The next story in chapter 14 is also about faith. In the next story Peter tries to walk on water. Oh, Peter! Peter full of faith and curiosity attempts to walk on water and makes for a few steps, but then life happens, and he panics. We’ve all been there before we try something new, perhaps a new job, and then something happens, and we panic. It’s human nature to panic when it seems that all hope is lost. Peter really is a great example of what it means to be a disciple. He takes a leap of faith and he does well, until something goes wrong, but then Jesus steps in and shows Peter the bigger picture. Peter starts to sink, and Jesus saves him. The takeaway from this story isn’t to judge Peter for not having enough faith, but that Jesus doesn’t let Peter drown- he saves him!
The good news is that what Jesus did for Peter he also does for us. When we start to sink Jesus saves us. The one who reaches his hand out to us, is the same one that painted the canvas of creation, the same one that who baptized us in water and marked us as his own.