Friday, April 30, 2010

Keep your eyes on Jesus ...

I met with a group of people last night, discussing what Roman Catholics believed and why. There was some segues, that included the aspect of Jesus walking on the water, and Peter coming out to meet him. Peter's doing fine, until he realizes how strong the waves are, and then starts to sink. He calls for Jesus to save him. Jesus does, while telling Peter that he was of little faith, and asking why he doubted (Matthew 14:22-33)

The discussion then went into the area where "keep your eyes on Jesus" has sparked song after song after song, about how things are fine so long as you keep your eyes on Jesus. As soon as your gaze goes elsewhere, you start to sink.

The discussion swirled in my head for a while, and now I'm wondering ... if Peter had a physical Jesus in front of him, physically violating the laws of nature, physically calling out to Peter to join him ... and Peter still took his eyes off Jesus, what hope do Christians have 2,000 years later when they just have the spiritual aspect? When keeping one's eyes on Jesus is essentially a mental effort, because there is no physical Jesus to look at and to hear? When keeping one's eyes on Jesus is dependent upon what reads in a book, as opposed to Peter, who had daily encounters with Jesus and the works Jesus performed?

That, and Jesus wasn't kind to Peter at this loss of confidence. The more I read the Gospel, the more Jesus comes across as unsympathetic to human frailties.

9 comments:

Lady Janes Tea Parties said...

Yes Peter took his eyes off Jesus and put his eyes on the circumstance and allowed a spirit of fear to overtake him rather than trusting Jesus. Trusting God is all about faith believing in your mind your heart that God is.
What chance do we have all we have to do is believe and trust. Faith is the substance of things not seen and the evidence of things hoped for. You choose what kind of chritian you want to be. Its simple. The bible tells us if we beleive Christ died for our sins we have eternal life we trust God to save souls but then we don't want to trust Him with our lives. If Peter hadn't played with the spirit of fear he wouldn't have sank. We authority over fear and all other demonic spirits. Please understand that if fear is not a spirit of God its a demonic spirit. Not our friend. So in essence sure the Lord was not pleased Peter played with the enemy rather than allowing His Father to keep him safe.
As far what chance do we have well Jesus went to calvary for that very reason. so Be Blessed and keep fight the good fight of faith.

atimetorend said...

Makes me wonder how much at all the authors of these stories intended them to be read as actual events rather than theological allegory. Either way, the "you of little faith, why did you doubt," sounds harsh.

OneSmallStep said...

Atimetorend,

That is a point that someone brought up -- the whole situation was perfectly structured to produce a bunch of CCM songs 2,000 years later about keeping one's eye on Jesus. :)

Sarge said...

Yeah, yeah, "Trust and obey, for there's no other way...", "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face...", heard it before, it still makes no sense.

One of the few people I ever ran across from my Viet Nam days wound up as a "guest minister" at a church I was playing at, and he discribed an incident that I had been part of.

He said that if he "hadn't kept his eyes on Jesus and The Cross" he's have never made it through.

Well, that explained a lot about why he acted such a fool. And I remember it a bit differently, myself and three other people did some pretty unspeakable things so he could survive and spout that utter nonsense.

Actually, there WAS a Jesus present, a guy named Jesus Mendoza, he was from some farm town in California. His face was not our salvation, I can tell you that.

Geds said...

But then there's the bit where Jesus was totally okay with Thomas refusing to believe unless he'd touched the holes. As much as anything, Jesus seems a bit arbitrary about such things...

Lorena said...

I'm with ATTR. When I started to read your paraphrase at the post's beginning, I had an "aha" moment.

I thought, "Isn't that what happens when we have great plans, and we're doing well, but we've forgotten about risks. Then one day we realize what we are doing, and the fears set us back."

I'm not sure that the gospels were intended as a metaphor, but an alternate meaning can definitely be found.

The post also reminded me of the new-age philosophy that we're our own god. In that sense, I suppose, to achieve our goals we would just have to keep the focus on our goals and on our strengths, and we should be able to achieve more.

As for keeping our eyes on Jesus, well, it works for some. It all depends on our self-deluding powers. But we all eventually sink. I did.

OneSmallStep said...

Sarge,

**He said that if he "hadn't kept his eyes on Jesus and The Cross" he's have never made it through.**

I remember reading some well-known CHristian saying how she couldn't see anything else when she kept her eyes on Jesus ... and, as you said, it might explain some of the behavior. Because in a war situation, if you're ignoring everything else, how can you help those who are in trouble?

OneSmallStep said...

Geds,

**. As much as anything, Jesus seems a bit arbitrary about such things...**

If I may be sarcastic for a moment, it's not that Jesus is aritrary, it's just that our hearts are hardened and thus the Holy Spirit can't show us why in fact, both things are true.

Tao1776 said...

The "Law" under which all Jews were subject was in the process of being usurped by "Grace" & "Faith" as Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law as the "Lamb of God" being sacrificed (without the shedding of blood their can be no remission of sins)...It is understandable that the disciples were of little faith..
And by the way, I'm not a Christian....So, be easy on Jesus. He had quite a task in front of him.