Jesus constrains His disciples to go before Him to the other side, and when the evening is come we see Him alone on the mountain “he went up into a mountain apart to pray:”
Here is a picture of Christ’s present position and of His Coming again.
Jesus is now on the mount, His disciples are still being tossed with tempest on the sea.
But one day He will appear again and deliver His Church out of all its troubles, (Re 4:1) “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”
As Peter went to meet Jesus on the waters, so shall we meet Him in the air “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I.Thess. 4:17).
When Jesus came back to the boat He brought Peter with Him. When He shall appear then we also shall appear with Him in glory.
Then those who see Him will also confess, “Of a truth Thou art the Son of God” (v.33).
Our Obedients will be Tried, “Jesus constrained his disciples to go before Him unto the other side” (v.22) To constrain, means to compel. Here it means to command.
Perhaps it was with reluctance that they went, but they obeyed, and while doing His will they were severely tested.
The trial of our faith is precious, more precious than tried gold. Observe the nature of their trials
First, that in which they trusted in was likely to fail them. “The ship was tossed with waves” (v. 24).
Every object of the believer’s confidence will have a tossing. Let us Note (Ja.1:12) “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
The wisdom of God often suffers his church to be tossed upon the waves of affliction and persecution, but it shall not be swallowed up by them:
The entrances, the passes, the doorways of evil, including councils and threatenings of wicked men, and “spiritual wickedness in high places,” persecutions even unto death, shall not swallow up the assembly of God’s saints “An I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” (Mt.16:18).
Jesus Himself faced temptations. (Mt. 4:3) “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”
The little ships of our own making are too slim to bear the stress of strong temptation, (1.Co 3:13) “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”
In following Jesus let us beware of trusting anything apart from Himself. (Mt 24:24) “For there shall arise false Christs….if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.”
The arm of flesh, our own understanding or past experience, if trusted, can only bring the soul into dread and danger.
Secondly, that which might have helped was an actual hindance, “The wind was contrary” (v.24). We, too, while seeking to do the will of our Lord may expect to meet with many a storm of opposition, (Ac.4:18) “And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.”
The wind which blowed them across the lake now hinders their progress.
The favour of men, which may have helped us at one time, may press against us at another.
There is a deep need for every contrary wind in the experience of God’s people. It only hindered these disciples from getting beyond the sphere of His own wonder-working power.
It made them tarry till He came. What a Blessed detention.
Thirdly, that their most strenous efforted were of little avail, “He saw them toiling and rowing” (Mk.6: 48). Ignorant of the Master’s purpose to bless them among the billows, they toiled and struggled as earnest, honest men to save themselves.
But they spent their strength in vain, as every one will do who seeks deliverance by their own works, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.” (Rom. 3: 20).
The Lord will always help us when we are Obedient, “Jesus saw them toiling in rowing,” and made haste to their help.
Comforting, yes he sees every stroke of the oar.
He hears every groan of the heart, every half-choked sigh, and he is an eye-witness to every bitter tear.
Our fruitless efforts may prove a blessing by bringing Jesus Christ into closer touch with us. He came
Jesus will come at an unexpected time, “In the fourth watch.” As in nature, so may it be in our spiritual experience-the darkest hour is the hour before daybreak.
He came in the hour of their greatest need-when their strength was exhausted, when all hope was gone.
In perplexity, cast the anchor of faith, and wait for the day.
Christ may come in an unexpected way, “Walking on the sea.” The great, surging billows, the source of the disciples’ fear and dread, were now under His feet.
He comes as the overcomer to their help.
They found their salvation where you and I will always find it, not in toiling, but in trusting, (Jh.11:40). “Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?”
The Lord will come with an unexpected blessing, “Be of good cheer.. It is I; be not afraid.” He does not at once remove the cause of their trouble, wind and waves, but He gives them rest in the midst of the storm.
He may not take away the thorn, but He makes His grace sufficient” ”And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:” (II.Car. 12).
He did not save from the fiery furnace, thank God He walked with them in it.