Day 14: If you could be king/queen for a day
If you could be king/queen for a day, what would you do? Does a list come quickly to your mind? After all, wouldn’t the world be better if you were in charge? I know that is a bit sarcastic, but honesty compels me to admit: I have often become frustrated because I was not in charge!
I remember being young, riding my bike to the water with a set of oars on my shoulder, and rowing. I would row out the inlet to Peconic Bay and back. It was hard. It was invigorating. Weird that I still remember that.
Why bring it up?
I like being in control.
As I get older I realize that most of the time it is an illusion. I am not sure when this internal desire really started. I am sure I could spend lots of money with a counselor in an attempt to identify its roots.
Regardless, even though I know it is mostly an illusion… and even though I know being a leader who is a control freak will strangle an organization… I am still drawn to it.
Today we read about Jesus being in complete control.
Jesus does two amazing, really miraculous things. First notice that the scene has changed. He is not in hanging out with the religious folks. In fact, he withdrew and people followed Him because He was doing signs.
He feeds 5,000 people, and then He walks across water and calms a storm. Recall, I observed that when we read of the things Jesus does, it is amazing. Tomorrow we will read about what He says. It will be challenging.
What Jesus does is meant to communicate to us that He is in charge of this world. He created it. He stands outside of it. Need food? No problem. He can create it. Struggling against a storm? No problem. He walks across the storm and settles it.
At this point, a variety of people reject the Gospel story. They cannot accept these miracles.
Some will completely dismiss Jesus, and others will pick and choose the parts of Jesus that they like.
John’s point: God the Creator has infinitely more ability than any of us to operate in the world He created.
This episode, and many more, encourage us to consider that Jesus really is God-come-to-earth. Get used to it. John is going to over and over invite us to ask ourselves the question, “If what I am reading is true, then who is Jesus?”
I don’t think the people of Jesus’ day knew just exactly who He was. But, they certainly liked what He DID. Who wouldn’t?
In verse 14 we see Jesus withdraw from them. Why? Because they want to take hold of Him and have Him for their own purposes.
They want to be in control.
This desire for control is even deeper. They say, “If God/Jesus can feed all these folks and calm all these storms, then why doesn’t He?” (If I am honest with you, I have asked that question as well).
Given what we read today, if they were in charge – and if we’re honest, if we were in charge – we would have Jesus giving us free food every day, calming every storm, and more… If only I were king/queen for a day!
In other words, we would love to either have all the control, or have Jesus on our staff.
The question, really, is more than do you think Jesus is God. It more than “meeting Jesus.” Many people met Him. Seriously, He is a real historical person and many people met Him.
The question you and I will be invited into over and over is this: if He is God, do you not merely believe in Him, or need His help… but will you also follow Him… even when you would run the world differently than Him?
You may not be ready to yet. For you, there are too many storms raging in our world, too many children starving. Be patient. The fact that those things bother you is great news. It means the source of mercy and grace is working in you.
Jesus has more to show us about himself.