Returning to the lectionary, Pastor Carl began a new message series entitled Marked, bearing the imprint of God. The teaching came from Matthew 14 where Jesus caught up to the disciples as they were tossed in a small boat on the Sea of Galilee. The disciples often found themselves in events that stretched their understanding of the world. The first time we read about them crossing the same sea and turbulent waters was in Matthew chapter 8. Jesus was awoken from his sleep and rebuked the storm. The disciples wondered in amazement, “What kind of man is this?” They asked. Even the seas in waves obey him. Jesus intended this to be a transforming encounter. That is a time when God reveals an aspect of his nature that is supposed to become part of our belief system.
Christianity is neither a philosophy nor a rule of life, it is a personal relationship with Jesus the Christ. Once we have received Christ as our personal savior our relationship with Him starts with that transforming encounter.
The disciples had a hard time understanding the veracity of these transforming encounters. Much like us, they were informed by the world around them. The politics of the day and the quest for power and wealth had ungodly influence on Judaism and in turn affected their faith.
When Mark tells the story of their second encounter on the Sea of Galilee, he commented that the disciples were utterly astonished because they had not gained any insight from the miracle of the loaves. Just before that rocky trip, Jesus had multiplied the bread. In this miracle of provision was the faith the disciples needed to live in the kingdom of heaven instead of being conformed to the kingdom of this world.
Jesus had one message; the kingdom of heaven is here. It’s hard for us to see that kingdom because we’re so consumed with the kingdoms of this world. But we have to press forward, seeking the truth that is the present reality of Jesus in our midst. This week as you meditate on this message of God’s present kingdom. Spend time cultivating thankfulness in your heart. Spend time in the word asking God for an encounter. Bring your previous encounters with God before the Lord and ask Holy Spirit if you learned the lesson of that miracle. Finally, so into your area of need. Help those who need the same help you need and watch God meet you at your point of faith.