Who Am I
The Rev. Jon Roberts
Calvary Episcopal Church
Indian Rocks Beach, FL
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Jesus by John Mark Hall, 2018
“Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
and watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?
Who am I?”
The author of this song goes on to say we are,
“A flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind;
Still He hears us when we’re calling;
He catches us when we’re falling;”
At that fragile moment when we step out on faith, sometimes engulfed by the water, with nowhere else to turn, we have the courage to speak, to utter those words, “Who Am I?” It is in those moments of helplessness when God’s hand reaches down for ours and puts us back into the boat when we learn the answer; “I Am yours.” It’s not because of who I am but because of who God is.
God always wants us to put our trust in Him because He wants us to know that we are His.
Last week Jesus, with his back against the Galilee, was met by thousands of people asking this question. Commanding them to sit down, he did the impossible; He taught his disciples how to feed them all. He heard the waves tossed in the ocean. He felt the wind move across the face of thousands. They came to be led and to be fed. They brought their fear and sorrow; Looking for the hope of a new tomorrow. Jesus teaches us that we are called to feed the hungry; literally and spiritually. We do this by modeling the sacrificial love he shared with us. But do we see such miracles today, in our lives as last week? So quickly we forget the next day. Let’s think about this as we join the disciples getting in the boat. Listen to the waves tossed against the sides as we push off. There is much to be learned about God on the sea.
There once was a person who didn’t believe in God, and certainly not in a Son who followed named Jesus. One day Jesus appeared to him and took this atheist fishing. The atheist accidentally dropped an oar and watched it float away. Jesus stepped out of the boat, walked across the water to the oar, grabbed it, and walked back to the boat. The next day, a friend asked the atheist if he had enjoyed fishing with the Lord. “It was okay,” he replied, “but would you believe that guy can’t swim?”
We all too often forget what Jesus is capable of doing. Often our lives become overridden when the wind picks up and the waves begin to crash upon us. Oh where is our Monday morning faith?
The psalmist reminds us, “Remember the marvels he has done; the wonders and the judgment of His mouth.”
What was it like for the disciples in the boat? The lesson reads, “Jesus made the disciples get in the boat and go ahead to the other side.” How did he intend to get there? They did as their rabbi commanded and a heavy wind came up. They struggled against it, but in the morning they tarried on. Then, they see a shadow, an appearance of a man walking; walking on water, towards them!
This, this was impossible. No one walks on the water. It’s a ghost!
The eyes of Jesus saw their sin. He looked on them with love and wanted them to rise again.
Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done.
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are.