To be trained by a Rabbi in Jesus' day, you were expected to roam with your rabbi at all times. No matter where he goes, you go. You meet lepers. You approach the delirious. You are a guest at a dinner with the most repulsive people on the planet. You go everywhere so you will not miss anything.
You show up at special functions with your Rabbi. You discern His attention to the despised. You ponder the time you and The Rabbi ate snacks from the field, and were criticized. You focus on your Teacher when He eats with the self-righteous Pharisee. You watch Him explain forgiveness to the Pharisee. You help Him feed 5000 men. You meditate on the Master's management of two opposite sisters. You go everywhere to learn everything.
Hypocrites are as dangerous as deadly dynamite. They compliment you, then carve up your back. They wear suits on Sunday, but carry pitchforks on Monday. Strangely, your Master loves each one. So you consider how He gently corrects them. You scrutinize His stories offering change. You study Him in situations as He challenges men to change. You concentrate on the direct challenges to your Rabbi, and how He stands His ground.
You saw Him teach a healed leper to keep the commands. You discern His use miracles as a teaching moment. You'll notice His use of the old testament. You listen to Him give men God's heart-based living instead of ceremony-based heartless obedience. You grasp His memorable analogies becoming anchors.
You are hand picked to witness His glory. You shield your eyes from His glowing clothes. You see your Rabbi as He was before. You feel the cloud. You hear God's thundering voice commanding your attention to your Rabbi.
In discipleship, you learn by observing, by imitating your Teacher, and by ALWAYS being close.
Now Jesus has sent you, Peter, and the other disciples across the deadly Galilean sea after an exhausting day.
Jesus, your most-loved Instructor, is spending a large part of His night in prayer.
It is about 4 o'clock in the morning. You are excruciatingly tired, along with the others. Row 10 feet forward. Blown back 8 feet. The wind-driven waves are wicked. The sea at night is dangerous, but you are safe IN the boat. Despite the comfortless conditions, all of you are IN a good ship.
"What is that out on the water," Matthew says. "It's a ghost!" exclaims Judas. You are thinking, 'This sea kills! That is a ghost! Not good!' But the ghost is walking past.
"It's Jesus," John says.
Passionate Peter wants to be with Jesus every moment. He says, "If it is you, tell me to come." Jesus replied, "Come on."
In disbelief, you watch Peter roll up his pant legs. (Oh, yeah. They did not have pants.) But you are watching Peter walking on water.
He is successfully doing the impossible.
What are the similarities between Peter and a parachutist?
- Both get out of perfectly good vessels.
- Both trust their ability to do what the instructor says.
- Both experience success.
As Rabbi followers wanting success, we must get out of the boat. We must be with our Rabbi. We trust him. Now, we must leave what is safe. We must believe we can obey the commands.
Only when we go OVERBOARD will we experience God's success. Only when we get out of the boat, will we do the impossible successfully.