2019 Study Summary 13: “Be Not Afraid”
Matthew 14–15; Mark 6–7; John 6: 5–6
What meanings do you see in the metaphors of water and rock?
Moses struck the rock and out came water. It became the Rock of Salvation. Simon, son of Jonah (Bar Jonah in Aramaic) was affectionately nicknamed Petrus (“rock” in Greek) by Jesus. In that sense, Simon became “Rocky-1” in the scriptures! Jesus, knowing that He was the “Rock of Salvation,” was establishing a profound lesson for one who would be the Lord’s mouthpiece and chief witness. Even Jewish prayers include: “He is my God, my Redeemer, my Rock in time of trouble.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
Desert or deserted?
At the lower and southern end of the Golan on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee is a more desolate or deserted place where few people lived. During Jesus’ ministry He went there to be alone. When the people heard that He was on the other side, they followed Him out of their cities. He blessed them and preached to them until the disciples urged Jesus to let them go home to buy food to eat. He said, “. . . Give ye them to eat.” (Mark 6:37)
How many were actually fed?
Jesus told the disciples to feed the people, and they said it couldn’t be done. Surely, five loaves and two fishes could never feed the multitude! He took what they had, prepared it and returned it to the disciples. Then, they fed the loaves and fishes to the people. “And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.” (Matthew 9:21)
What previous instruction did the twelve get to cast out spirits?
“And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.” (Matthew 14:22-26) Faced with what they supposed was a spirit, the only instruction they might have had at that point was that fasting and prayer was necessary to drive spirits away. After they had eaten a miraculous meal the previous evening and had twelve baskets or provisions with them, they were full, not fasting! They may have therefore thought, we’re unable to command the spirit.
What is your definition of fear, faith . . . and faith in the Lord?
Fear is thinking about things you don’t want to happen. Faith is thinking about things you do want to happen. Faith in the Lord is thinking about things He wants to happen. “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid . . . Peter answered . . . bid me come unto thee on the water . . . Come . . . he walked on the water . . . he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid . . . he cried, saying, Lord, save me . . . Jesus stretched forth his hand . . . wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:27:33)
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For whom was the lesson about walking on water?
Many people believe that with enough faith, they can walk on water. View the event more closely, Peter cried, “Lord save me.” Jesus responded, “Wherefore didst thou doubt?” This may have been a personal lesson for the Prophet-to-be. The dialogue might be imagined to have continued, “. . . Wherefore didst thou doubt, I came to save.” It is possible that the Savior, having named Simon, Peter (Rocky), was now teaching him that rocks sink . . . to be raised by the “Rock of Salvation, the Stone which the builders rejected.” (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17).
What are the connections of water, rock and bread?
Just as bread needs to be raised, we need to be raised by the Bread of Life, the Leaven, the Rock of Salvation. The words Bread, Bread of Life, Leaven, Rock, and Water are some of the more frequently used names of the Lord. Note the following involved Jewish ritual and traditions that relate with bread and water.
How important is bread in Judaism?
“The rabbis regarded bread as the staple diet and no meal was considered complete without it.” “It has remained a custom to sprinkle a little salt on bread partaken at the beginning of meals. In Jerusalem it is the custom to greet official guests of the City Council with bread and salt as they enter the city’s limits.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) The gesture of breaking bread, sprinkling it with some salt is a humble prayer expressing indebtedness to the Lord, as if to say, “If I only had bread with a little flavor, I am grateful.”
How important is the directive of using bread?
Every time the term bread is used, it should be an automatic reminder to look for the Lord in the meaning of the phrase. The lack of bread may be an indication of the lack of accepting the Lord. He just wasn’t there. “And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine.” (Genesis 47:13)
How can the negative term “Bread of Affliction” have a positive meaning?
The bread of affliction refers to Him, who was afflicted more than anyone was, is or will be afflicted. “And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.” (Nehemiah 9:15)