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Devotion - August 8, 2020

Matthew 14:22-27

Jesus Walks on the Water

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’

Reflection by Duke Yaguchi

One thing writing devotions does is that it requires me to read scripture anew. To read it from another perspective so that what I see is something a little different.

One of my childhood friends, Ken, a Japanese-American grew up with Buddhist parents like me. Also like me, he started attending a Christian church while at the University of Illinois. Also, like me, he became a Christian as an adult. I remember him and his wife, Wendy, went to the Holy Land for a vacation. One of his experiences was to go to the sea of Galilee where Jesus walked on water. They have a sheet of Plexiglas that goes out into the water so tourists can walk out and make it look like they are walking on water as well. Initially I thought this was sacrilegious. But now I think, anything that makes us think and wonder about Jesus' life is a good thing.

So, getting back to scripture. The disciples scream out of fear when they see Jesus approach them. Why wouldn't they? Who walks on water? Some scientists argue that the sea is very salty and people are buoyant and will not sink. But there's a difference between bobbing up and down with water up to your chest and walking on water. If Jesus could cure the sick and give sight to the blind, why not be able to walk on water. Whether he did or not, I don't know. I wasn't there. The doubting Thomas in me wonders.

But when it comes right down to it, it comes down to a very basic question. Do you believe in miracles? Do I believe in miracles? Yes, I do. I believe there are things and events that happen that are unexplainable, improbable, unlikely, unimaginable. What may be a miracle today, may become common place tomorrow.

Would I have been afraid to see a figure walking across the lake? Absolutely. Would I be glad that it was Jesus? Absolutely!

Would you like to read scripture anew? If so, sign up to become a contributor for the daily devotions. Don't worry if you don't know what to write. The Holy Spirit will breathe the words over you. Take heart. Jesus will be with you, too! Do not be afraid.

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for sending Jesus to the world. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to learn of his great strength and power from the Good Book. Give us the strength to keep our faith during these testing times of a world pandemic. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.



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