I needed reminding of this truth before moving on to ch. 7, today. What I want to encourage you to do and know about this passage of Jesus walking on the water is this: don’t leave without Jesus. That’s right. I don’t think the disciples should have left without Jesus, but they had more things to learn, as do we all. They need Jesus and so do we. As it were during his ministry, Jesus could only be with his disciples if he were physical near them. Of course, that changes after the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. He can then send the Spirit to be with them!
Your first response might be, “Are you saying they should have disobeyed Jesus?” Well, let me answer that with a similar text and let’s see what happened when God sends him/them on without Him.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Depart, go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up from the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’ “I will send an angel before you and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite. “Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, because you are an obstinate people, and I might destroy you on the way.”(Exod. 33:1-3)
Notice that the LORD told Moses to go on without Him and He would send and angel ahead of them into the Land to drive out all their enemies. The LORD does not intend to go with them because they are hard-hearted people and He might have to destroy them on the way. Was Moses okay with this? Did he obey the LORD? Well, Moses goes to the tent of meeting.
Then Moses said to the LORD, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me. Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ “Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.” And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”(Exod. 33:12-16)
Moses will not leave without the LORD. You can easily see why! To save some time, I’m going to assume you get what I mean and apply this to the disciples’ situation. In the passage, their hearts are hardened from the incident with the loaves in the wilderness when Jesus fed 5,000. T’hey had not learned anything from that glorious event. They were (and we are) very much like Israel while they were in the wilderness.
I think of Moses often. He seemed to be very bold with the LORD. It seemed that because of God’s favor/grace he would come boldly to the throne of grace! I think the disciples should have plead with Jesus not to send them away without him. They had The Tent of Meeting right there before them.
Jesus saw them struggling out in the middle of the sea. The wind was against them mightily. I wonder who summoned the wind? And though Jesus went to them, he intended to pass by them. Why? I think he wanted to see if they would call on him and in his grace had sent the wind and came near enough to them to be seen! Wow! That’s amazing love!
Let me plead with myself and with you…do not leave without Jesus! Pray! Go to The Tent of Meeting, the Holy Spirit dwells within you! Do not begin the day or anything without Jesus! Life is a test…everyday is a test. Prayerlessness might be a sign of hard-heartedness. Believe! See! Come boldly to the throne of grace! Don’t leave without Jesus!