There is a chapter in the bible that tells 3 stories. (Matthew 14)
The first story is about John, the cousin of Jesus. He was in prison and under armed guard by King Herod’s orders. It was the Herod’s birthday and as part of his party, a young girl performed a dance. Herod loved the dance so much that he promised to give this girl anything she wished for.
Her response was shocking: asking for the prisoner John to be beheaded. And so her wish was granted.
When Jesus heard that his cousin had been murdered, he took himself away into the wilderness to mourn and seek solitude.
The nearby towns heard that Jesus was in the area and they went looking for him. As many flocked to find him, Jesus came to meet them, healed some sickness and sat with them. By this point approximately 5000 men were there and many more women and children.
Evening was approaching and the crowd was getting hungry. Some of those closest to Jesus had a small amount of food – a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. Jesus took them, thanked God for the food, and started to split the food.
As the food got shared out amongst the thousands, everybody got fed, everyone went home satisfied and there were many baskets of food left over.
As night time arrived, the crowds disappeared and a group of men boarded their boat and went fishing on the lake leaving Jesus on the lakeside. This lake (Sea of Galalie) was 166km2 – about the same 24 football pitches. The wind picked up, the weather worsened and the fishermen began to panic.
Jesus left his place of solitude and walked across the water to greet them. The fishermen were terrified that it was a ghost until Jesus called to them. Jesus asked Peter to stand off the boat and walk on the lake with him. Peter did as suggested and began to stand tall on the water. But as he saw the wind and the waves start to crash on the boat, he got afraid and he started to sink.
Jesus reached out, grabbed his hand and together they walked back to the boat. When they climbed aboard, the wind died down, the waves became ripples and all was restored. All the fishermen believed that Jesus really was the son of God.
This story is fascinating. Not only did all this happen in approx 24hrs, but the story shows three clear stages: Pain. Power. Peace.
Pain: Jesus had just found out that his friend and cousin had been murdered. Obviously grieving and in pain, Jesus retracted to the quiet wilderness to process the loss.
Power: Jesus gives thanks to God and produces one of the most recognised miracles – the feeding of the 5000 with just a few scraps of food.
Peace: This miracle is two-fold. First Jesus walks on the lake. He enables Peter to also encounter this miracle of faith – trusting in what seems untrustworthy – in walking on water. Jesus brings calm to a frantic situation in the boat as he calms the storm.
It took a painful event, to produce a powerful miracle, which allowed for peace.
We can all face painful events, but Jesus has the ability to bring a miracle to your doorstep. A miracle of breakthrough. A miracle of peace.
For those who don’t know Jesus, inviting him into your life is a simple prayer, such as:
“Jesus, I give you my life. I ask you to help and guide me in my thoughts and actions.
I ask you to forgive me of the times I have hurt you or hurt others.
I believe you are the son of God and I chose to walk in your ways.”
Jesus can take the pain and turn it into something powerful and peaceful.