Context: After feeding the 5,000 in miraculous fashion, the disciples row across the Sea of Galilee without Jesus. He comes to them on the water in the middle of the night, calms a violent storm and brings them safely to land at Capernaum. The crowds whom he fed followed him, too, along with others heading to the Passover or just fascinated by the stories about Jesus. Jesus has a pointed conversation with the crowd (disruptive honesty as we discussed in last Sunday’s message) about their motivations in following him: was it to see a sign from God (and respond) or was it really just to gain some kind of blessing and benefits from his miracles?
Observations: Why did Jesus let the disciples go off in the boat on their own? Why didn’t he come to them sooner? Why do you think the crowd asked, ‘What must we do to be doing the works of God?” Jesus points them to simply believing in God but the crowd points Jesus to the work of God in bringing the Jews manna from heaven. They press him for a sign, why is that?
Application: Is there a storm and circumstance in your life that is troublesome and very discouraging for you? Use this story to cultivate trust in Jesus’ presence and His ability to work in and through it. Ask yourself if you are ‘working for the food that perishes or the food that leads to eternal life.’ What adjustments does God want you to make?
Prayer: Ask God for his peace in the midst of your storms. Remember and reflect on ways He has helped you in the past … and be thankful! Express it specifically to Jesus today. Pray that Evergreen offers a growing sense of God’s peace that surpasses understanding during this season of coronavirus, stock market plunges, shifting values and overall uncertainty.