The Good News for the day, April 14, 2018
Saturday in the Second Week of Easter (272)
That evening, the close followers of Jesus went down to the sea, got into a boat, and crossed the sea toward Capernaum. (It got dark then—and Jesus had not yet rejoined them.) The sea got rough because a strong wind had come up. When they had been rowing about three or four miles away from shore, they saw Jesus walking on the sea –coming up to the boat—and they got scared! But Jesus says, “I am here. Don’t be so scared.” They were going to get him into the boat—but just then the boat arrived at the shore where they were heading. (John 6)
This miracle comes to us in various versions with a consistent core: After the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, the disciples are in a boat heading home without Jesus. Terrible storm hits in the darkest time of night. Jesus comes walking on water saying (literally): “I am. Fear not.” Problem solved (endings differ here).
Perhaps, as some scholars suggest, we have here a “midrash”—a Jewish form of putting a truth into a story: The same truth that Psalm 107 describes—God in His love saves us in all the storms of life. The real point for you and me—the Central Truth—is not Jesus walking on water—but His saving of His followers—you and me—when we are in danger of being overwhelmed by forces beyond our control.
God is present in the remotest, darkest, stormiest night. Something lost in translation seems significant here: in every version, what Jesus says is “I AM”—the familiar “name” of the God of Israel. The original Jewish readers would have recognized the “name” Then, Jesus immediately adds: “Be Not Afraid!”
That is the core—the inspiration, and the Good News. In whatever gloominess you feel, however far you may feel from God and that love, you can discern that the One who has been feeding you the Bread of Life—that One comes, present to fight off those dangers in your darkness, His presence quells your fears, panic, and desperation which can arise so suddenly and catch you by surprise.
Read Psalm 107—familiar to ancient Jews in its lovely, quiet intensity. See how this story reflects a Love that saves others (the name of Jesus as “saving,” do not forget!).
It is faith in that love, trust in that caring power, and a recognition of the Presence of someone we thought absent (God, Jesus –their help). Such help “saves” you and me from despair, loneliness, and pointlessness—those ‘deaths.’ Such moments come to us all, and threaten our well-being. In the driving torrents of bleak threats, we discern the Helping Hand of Love stretched out to us.
King James Bible
His Loving Kindness Endures Forever
1O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endures forever.
2Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
3And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
4They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.
5Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
6Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
7And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
8Oh, that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
9For he satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness.
10Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
11Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
14He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and brake their bands in sunder.
15Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
16For he hath broken the gates of brass and cut the bars of iron in sunder.
17Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
18Their soul abhors all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.
19Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saves them out of their distresses.
20He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
21Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
22And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving and declare his works with rejoicing.
23They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
24These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.
25For he commands, and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves thereof.
26They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
27They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.
28Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distresses.
29He makes the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
30Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he brings them unto their desired haven.
31Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
32Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
33He turns rivers into a wilderness, and the water springs into dry ground;
34A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
35He turns the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into water springs.
36And there he makes the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;
37And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.
38He blesses them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffers not their cattle to decrease.
39Again, they are admonished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.
40He pours contempt upon princes, and causes them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.
41Yet setts he the poor on high from affliction and makes him families like a flock.
42The righteous shall see it and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.
43Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.
King James Bible
Text courtesy of BibleProtector.com
Section Headings Courtesy INT Bible
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