There are several schools of thought regarding teaching someone to swim. Some are taught to swim by taking classes with an instructor. Others are taught to swim by gradually weaning off of the aids of flotation devices as more comfort is developed in the water. Still for others, a more radical approach is taken . . .
Sometimes people just throw a non-swimmer into the water and then watch as they either “sink” or “swim.” The idea being that survival instincts and motivation will align and require someone to figure out a way to stay afloat.
While this kind of radical process may be antiquated in today’s day and age, it was somewhat employed by the Son of God, Jesus Christ, during His earthly ministry. Jesus was not so much concerned with people’s ability to swim, as He was in people developing a radical trust in HIM to do great things through THEM. What do I mean?
- When Jesus sent His disciples on a short term mission trip, He did not give them an easily attainable goal (i.e. “be nice to people.”) Instead He told them to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons (Matthew 10:8).”
- When Jesus found a group of 10,000+ people on a secluded beach, He did not ask the disciples to sing some songs to entertain the crowds. Instead He told them, “You give them something to eat (Matthew 14:16).”
- When Jesus goes for a walk ON TOP OF the Sea of Galilee, and Peter recognizes Him, He does not tell Peter to take a “selfie” with Jesus in the background. Instead He invites Peter to walk on the water as well.
- And many other examples could be given.
How did Jesus teach His disciples how to serve Him? By calling them onto the water, and asking them to stand NOT swim. Swimming is something they could do . . . or could learn to do in their own strength. But STANDING ON THE WATER? This is a task that would require divine intervention.
Jesus was preparing His disciples to change the world- something that would take not just Divine inspiration, but Divine participation. And, He is still in the business of training His followers (you and I) to do the same. By calling us into situations where we either “Sink or Stand” we learn the awesome truth that Jesus can do more through us than we ever thought imaginable.
Over the next 5 weeks at Wildwood Community Church, in our 9:45 and 11:00 worship services, we will be looking at Matthew 14-15 to see how Jesus taught His followers to stand on the water in a new series called “Sink or Stand.” We hope you join us this week as we begin the series by looking at Matthew 14:13-21, and the Feeding of the 5,000. See you Sunday!
NOTE #1: This Sunday is Promotion Sunday at Wildwood for our Children’s and Student Ministry. Several fun things are planned as your kids check out their new classrooms.
NOTE #2: We will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper as a part of this week’s worship service as well.