I recently read the account of Peter’s water walking adventure in Matthew 14. The word immediately is repeated three times; this got my attention. Five thousand people had just been fed miraculously.
“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd” Matthew (emphasis mine)
Why was Jesus so eager to get rid of the disciples?
The Jewish people, including the disciples, expected the Messiah to set up a literal, physical kingdom upon his arrival. John reveals that this was the crowd’s intention. The disciples could have easily joined the throng, placing additional pressure on Jesus. Apparently unaware of the crowd’s desire, the disciples obeyed without complaint or hesitation.
Lesson One on “immediately”: When God gives a command, just do it.
Obedience doesn’t always result in smooth sailing. “Things got bad and things got worse*” for the disciples. In the middle of the sea, in the middle of the night, a storm erupted that frightened even the experienced fishermen in the group. Jesus, aware of their predicament, did the only logical thing; He walked out to help them. Terrified, the disciples didn’t recognize Him (Matthew ). Hearing their cries, Jesus immediately responded with words of assurance.
Lesson Two: Fear can cause us to not recognize the Lord when He shows up. God is always aware of our situation and is already at work, even before we call out for help. He responds immediately to our cry and isn’t restricted to only natural means of providing a rescue.
Peter, emboldened by the Lord’s arrival put Jesus on the spot. “Lord if (emphasis mine) it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water” (verse 28). What else could Jesus say but, “Come.” Under normal conditions water doesn’t provide a solid surface; step on it and you sink immediately. Distracted by the storm Peter began to sink and cried out, “Lord save me! Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him” (verses 30-31). Grabbing Peter, Jesus walked the shaken disciple through the storm back to the boat.
Lesson Three: Any call for salvation prompts an immediate response from God but not necessarily an immediate change in circumstances.
The presence of Jesus in the boat changed everything. Matthew’s account says the wind died down. John adds, “Immediately the boat reached the shore where they were headed.”
Lesson Four: The presence of God can change things immediately. Caught in a ferocious storm one minute, the disciples found themselves safe and sound at their destination the next. With God, all things are possible immediately!
In the perfect will of God the disciples experience “the perfect storm.” Jesus knew this and His first reaction was to reassure them, not to stop the storm. Peter’s request to walk on water delayed their deliverance but taught them a powerful lesson on the possibilities of faith. Instantaneously they went from tempest tossed to high and dry. God’s responses were always immediate, but not always what one would expect.
God will do for us what He did for the disciples. He responds immediately to our crises. He enjoys and applauds our attempts to walk on water and provides immediate help if our faith falters and we begin to sink. He has the ability to immediately meet any need and solve any problem. He’s never late, He’s always immediately on time.
copyright Credence Clearwater Revival
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