Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

He was asleep. The disciples in their panic awoke Him with the words,Lord, save us : we perish! And He arose and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still! And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. For He maketh the storm to cease, so that the waves thereof are still! Again, it was out of the waters of this same lake that, on two separate occasions, our Lord brought, by His mere wish and word, a miraculous draught of fishes. The locality has thereby become famous. . Travellers who journey to the Gospel-land hasten to visit the Sea of Galilee; for there the Lord, their Saviour, did great things. There did He assert His Godhead. There did He show that nature was indeed put under His feet- that He was the controller of the storm — that His way was in the sea, and His path in the mighty waters, and that His footsteps are not known !

And it is to one of these miracles which He wrought upon the Lake of Galilee that I would now invite

your

attention. There are lessons in it that are surely good for us to learn-profitable, God bringing them home to our hearts, in many ways, for our edification.

The circumstances are as follows, as gather them from three of the four Evangelists St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. John. Our Lord,

we

had just been feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes; and after He had fed them, He bade His disciples get into their boat, and go before Him to the opposite side of the lake, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent them away, He departed Himself into a mountain to pray-retired, as He was wont, for the purpose of solitary communing with His Father. And when the evening was come, He was there alone. But the ship in which His disciples were entered was making its way - not without difficulty, not without danger, to the opposite shore of the lake. It was dark; and the wind, which was contrary, had arisen, and the boat was tossed with the waves. They were wearied with rowing against the storm; and, no doubt, they wished that their Lord had been in the boat with them, and not stayed behind on the shore. When, lo! about the fourth watch of the night, when they were about half-way over, five-and-twenty or thirty furlongs from the land, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and He made as though he would have passed by them. The sight caused great fear. They were troubled, and said, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer ; it is I; be not afraid! The well-known voice reassured

[ocr errors]

them ; and one of them — ever the boldest, ever the forwardest,- St. Peter, answered Him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid. me come unto Thee on the water. And He said, Come. Peter left the ship and trusted himself to the waves. At first, it appears that he too, like his Master, had power to tread “the watery floor;" for we read, He walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, like a drowning man, saying, Lord, save me !

And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, Othou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased—the waves fell; and, not only that, but the ship rapidly, it would almost seem by some miraculous impulse, reached her haven. Immediately, says St. John, the ship was at the land whither they wentwhere they were going to. This mighty proof of Divine power was not lost on the wondering and awe-struck disciples. They that were in the ship came to our Lord, and prostrated themselves before Him in worship, saying, Of a truth thoil art the Son of God!

Yes, my brethren, that, no doubt, is the first and foremost lesson that we must all learn from what we have heard —“Of a truth, Jesus is the Sn of God !” — not a mere man, nor a God-like

[ocr errors]

66

a

man; but above man, and equal to God. One who can do what God does — who has dominion, mastery, lordship over the elements,— lordship over everything. Thou, i. e. the Father, writes the inspired author of the Hebrews, Thou hast put all things in subjection under His feet. For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But if all things are put under Jesus Christ,-if He is Lord of lords, and King of kings, then ought we all to worship Him, and obey Him. Then, at His Name, ought every knee to bow, and every tongue to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!

But let us look at some of the lesser points of instruction which there are for us in this miracle,-or rather, these miracles, upon the Sea of Galilee.

And first notice, among them, the care of Christ for His people. How He comes to them in their extremity, -saves them, when they have wellnigh given up the hope of being saved ! In the first storm (St. Matt. viii. 25) the Lord was with them all the while. They could run

They could run to Him in any moment, sure of His help; and so, as we have seen they did, they awoke Him, saying, Lord, save us! and at once He did save them. He rebuked the winds and the sea ; and there was

a

great calm. But on the occasion now before us, the storm came upon the disciples while Jesus was absent; they were in the boat, and He was on the land. Nay, they had got some distance from Him, even to the midst of the lake, when danger overtook them. And yet, as you know, they were not left to perish. The gracious Lord saw them toiling in rowing against the contrary wind. And He came to them, in a way they could not have expected, and gave them a swift deliverance out of all their trouble.

And so, let us believe, does Jesus Christ help His people still. He is not visibly present with us, as He was present with the men of Judea ; we do not ourselves hear Him, or see Him, or sit with Him, as many of them did. He is gone up into God's holy mountain, Himself alone ; while we are still tossed on the waters of this troublesome world, driven to and fro of our passions,— in danger, daily, of making shipwreck of our souls. He is in heaven, and we upon earth. But yet, for all that, He sees us, and has a care for us; and can make all things work together for good to us. After we have suffered awhileafter we have been purified through suffering, He will manifest Himself to us,-come, as He came of old,-a controller of the storm, making us full of joy with His countenance; causing us

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »