Matthew 8:18 – 27 tells of the events of such a ‘crossing” when Christ Jesus instructs His disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee at the end of a long day. The trip to the other side would be a stormy one where even the closest allies of Christ question His care for them.
Before entering the vessel Christ has a conversation with two gentlemen about following him. The first man was a Scribe (Teacher of the Law) and was only concerned about what he could gain from following Christ. The second man appears to be a true disciple, but his conversation reveals he’s more concerned with what he will have to give up in order to follow the Messiah.
Here are three things to note when it comes to the “crossings” we face in life and our relationship with Christ Jesus.
- Crossings (speaking metaphorically), always have a way of revealing our true motivation as individuals. In following Christ we should never ignore the cost of discipleship. (Matthew 8:18-20; Luke 9:23 – 24)
- Every crossing in life has the potential for difficulties. (Matthew 8:21-22) The disciple in this passage is not revealing that his father has already passed but rather he would like to return home until his father does pass away. In the disciples’ mind, leaving his father and home presently could cost him financially, and if he waited until his father’s death he would then be available to follow Christ full-time. Discipleship is not something we can whimsically pick up or lay down when we so choose. When we’re directed by God to “go” He never presents it in accordance with our timing.
- No matter how difficult the crossings we may experience as followers of Christ “He’s still in the boat with us.” (Matthew 8:23 – 27) Storms can develop quickly on the Sea of Galilee as they come across Mount Herman from the north. As followers of Christ we need to hold onto the promise that He hasn't left us comfortless in the midst of the difficulties we face during these “crossings of life.” His disciples on this particular night were obviously fearful of the dangers presented during the storm, but His care for them was never in doubt. Their faith on the other hand is a different story.
As we go we leave behind family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ who we love dearly and believing more than ever God will care for them as well as for us. We leave behind our Home Bible Fellowship Group. The support and time shared with the individuals who make up this group has truly been a blessing to my family and me. God is good! And He’s been good to me.
Remember – Christ Jesus is still in the boat and you never cross alone.