Earlier this week I was driving home struggling with the latest news that was coming across the radio. As many of you can identify with this year, I have been surrounded by the news of everything with little to no reprieve. Politics of the day are no longer relegated to the old men sitting on the porch. It is on the tv, in movies, in music, in sports, essentially around every corner and on every newsfeed. The biggest problem with all of this is that we are overloaded with so much information that it is hard, near impossible, to filter it all and sort fact from fiction. Personally, I have always prided myself on being able to do my own research and try to get to the bottom of every story. This requires me to read the perspectives of both sides of an issue/situation and then research all of the points of contention to find where I fall on the issue or what the probable truth of the situation is. The problem of late is that there are so many situations and issues being discussed in the public sphere, not to mention, blatant lies and misrepresentations of facts that it is often times difficult to find the ever shifting bottom. So in this world of ever shifting narratives how does a follower of Christ find there way.
The short answer, Jesus.
In Matthew 14:22-33, the story starts with the disciples getting in a boat to cross a lake but finding rough waters and winds so strong that these men, fishermen, meaning most of them had grown up on the water, they were all on edge to the point that they were all terrified when they first saw Jesus thinking that he was a ghost. Mind you this was after Jesus had calmed the storm when he was on the boat, Matthew 8:23-27. So here are these men, scared out of their minds and Jesus says “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid”(v. 27). Peter then asks if it truly Jesus then tell me to come out to you. We all know the story that Jesus tells him to come, Peter starts to walk out to Jesus but sees the situation that now surrounds him, takes his eyes off of Jesus, becomes afraid and then begins to sink. Peter cries out “Lord, save me!”(v. 30) and the scriptures say IMMEDIATELY Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. Jesus then looked at Peter and asked “why did you doubt?”(v. 31). The two then walked back to the boat and climbed in.
“Why did you doubt?” Those words rang like a church bell in my head. Currently we are walking through a time in history where the winds a constantly changing and blowing stronger every day. The ground beneath us might seem like the waves that Peter was walking across. We are looking around and crying to the Lord, SAVE US! Now, don’t get me wrong, Jesus will always reach out to catch us and pull us back up if we ask him but those words, “why did you doubt?” are just cutting me to the core. We do not have to be afraid of the changing winds because God is ultimately in control of history and is in the middle of it with us saying “Come” (v. 29).
I titled this post, “The Truth is the Truth” because of the easiest way to cast out all doubt, the truth. When Jesus asked why did you doubt he was asking why Peter doubted the truth. Not a truth, not Peter’s truth but the truth of who Jesus is. If Jesus is God in flesh as John describes him in John chapter 1 then why would you doubt the truth of God protecting you if Jesus told you to come to him. Let that breath a little and let’s digress for a moment. As every Christian should know, Jesus has and is calling us to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). I think we would all agree that most Church’s know and teach the first part of the Great Commission. We pour countless dollars into missions and have evangelists all over the nation bringing souls into the kingdom everyday, which don’t in any way get me wrong is great. 2 Peter 3:9 states that God “is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” so I am fully on board with everything that the Church is currently doing but I think we, myself included, sometimes overlook the second part of the Great Commission.
“Teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (v. 30). This is discipleship. In John 8:31-32, Jesus says “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus knows that if we learn his teachings and ground ourselves in the truth then no matter what is around us we are able to walk through it. A couple chapters later in John 14:6, Jesus explains what the truth is by saying “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This is easy to understand if you look back at the first chapter of John and read that Jesus is the Word, or logos in the Greek, of God. If we learn the truth and know the truth that is Christ Jesus then we are free from the fear and uncertainty of this world. We do not have to doubt that Jesus is leading us through the waves and winds of this life and we will never have to sink into the darkness of this world. But, if you do, just remember all you have to do is cry out, as Peter did, “Lord, save me!” (v. 30) and IMMEDIATELY Jesus will reach out and catch you.
Right now, I am working on a Discipleship series that will teach the Basics of Christianity starting with “The Importance of the Bible”. Each lesson will have a video presentation and notes to help you understand the basic truth and be able to teach others. Special note: every one of these lessons will be completely free and will be available to everyone. If, and only if, you feel led to support myself and Vectored Media in the creation and distribution of these materials then there will be a place to partner with us on the Vectored Media website. Thank you for all of the support that has been sent my way and I look forward to what God has for all of us as we continue to follow His calling.