Jesus spoke to his disciples. He did not wait to keep them long in fear, wondering who he was, but "straightway," that is immediately, said, "Be of good cheer," which means be cheerful and happy. "It is I." It is your Saviour who loves you, and who has power to protect you from all danger. "Be not afraid." Now their fears were all gone in a moment; and Peter was so joyful and courageous that he wished to go out on the water to meet the Saviour. Jesus said unto him, “Come," and it appears that he did walk on the water until he saw the wind boisterous, when he was afraid, and as he began to sink, he cried out, "Lord save me." It was well for Peter that Jesus was ready and willing to save immediately. He had come hastily down from the ship, and ventured himself on the mighty deep. The wind was boisterous, the w es rolled fearfully around him, and now he felt himself fast sinking beneath them. If Jesus delayed to help him, but for one moment, it would be too late. But his compassionate Saviour was always ready to save. He needed not that the sinking Peter should call on him a second time, but " immediately stretched forth his hand and caught him," saying, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" When Peter first asked to walk on the water, and when he first came down from the ship, I suppose he trusted in Jesus to give him power to perform a miracle. He knew that Jesus could enable him to walk on the water, as well as he could walk on it himself; and he went forward trusting in the power of his almighty Saviour; but when he saw the wind boisterous, his faith, that is his trust in Jesus, became weak;

his fears were stronger than his faith, and that was the reason he began to sink. None of us should expect Jesus to save us, unless we trust in him, and believe that he is able to do for us all that we need for this world, and for the world to


Jesus called Peter a person of little faith. He had some trust in the Saviour, though it was not so strong as it should have been. He yielded to his fears when he began to sink, and yet he had sufficient trust in Jesus to cry, "Lord, save me." If we feel that we are sinners, and need the pitying love of Jesus, though our trust in him may be faint, he will pity our weakness, and stretch forth his powerful hand to save.

In the two last verses above, we learn that when the Saviour and Peter were come into the ship, the wind ceased, and the people who were in the ship came and worshiped Jesus, saying, "Of a truth thou art the Son of God." They had seen him coming to them in the fourth watch of the night, walking on the moving water as if it had been the solid land. They had seen him enable Peter to walk on the water also, and when he began to sink they saw him stretch forth his hand and save him. Now they saw him calm the tempest in a moment, and hush to rest the raging of the mighty billows. Many of those who were in the ship had before seen the Saviour's wonderful works; but every new miracle was a new proof to them that he was God, and they desired to acknowledge him as the greatest and the best of beings. "They worshiped him." That is, they bowed down before him with reverence and awe, saying,

"Of a truth," most certainly, "thou art the Son of God." We should worship none but God. Our parents, and other kind friends we should love, honor and obey, but it would be wicked to worship them Our Heavenly Father we should love, honor, and obey-but towards himself he requires more than this, we should worship him. All his creatures to whom he has given reason are wicked if they do not worship him. Does this account of the wonderful works of Jesus Christ lead you to say to him in your heart, as the disciples did, "Of a truth thou art the Son of God?"



MATT. XV. 32-38.

32. Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.

33. And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?

34. And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.

35. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.

36. And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

37. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left, seven baskets full.

38. And they that did eat were four thousand men, besides women and children.

It appears that our Saviour spent much of his

time, delivered many of his sermons, and performed most of his miracles, in the open air; and often in what is called a desert place, that is a place where there are few inhabitants. For this, there might have been several reasons. The Pharisees, you know, were seeking to destroy him, and as he was not ready yet to give himself up into their hands, he chose to avoid them. Another reason, perhaps, was that the people might all be accommodated who came to listen to him. No building, or any open field among the houses, would be large enough to contain the thousands of people who followed the Saviour. He was at this time on one of the mountains near the Sea of Galilee, and this was a convenient place for all the people to stand, so that they could listen.

You learn from the first of the verses above, that Jesus said to his disciples, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat." The people had left their families, and their business to go into the wilderness, and while they were seeing his works, and enjoying his heavenly teaching, hour after hour had passed when they scarcely knew it; and now, three days had gone by since they left their homes. They had probably taken some provisions with them, but these were all used up, and they expected to obtain nothing more till they could return. Some of them had walked many miles from their home; some we know had brought their sick friends with them, for we have an account in the thirtieth verse of the same chapter, that "they brought those who were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them


down at Jesus' feet, and he healed them, and some, it may be, had brought their little children in their arms for Jesus to give them his blessing; all had now been a long time away from the comforts of their homes, and yet they must take a tedious journey before they could rest and refresh themselves. Jesus pitied these people, as he pitied all who were suffering, and he said to his disciples, "I will not send them away fasting, (that is without taking food,) lest they faint in the way."

The disciples were astonished that he should think of supplying so great a multitude with food, out in the wilderness, where there were no shops to buy, and no gardens to gather it from. Jesus asked how much food they had there. They answered, seven loaves, and a few little fishes." This was very little, probably not enough for themselves; but when Jesus had commanded the multitude to sit down, he took the loaves and fishes, and gave thanks.


Here, my young reader, is an example which you should be careful to imitate. Perhaps your father, or the friend with whom you live, offers thanks to God, and asks his blessing on your food whenever you sit down to the table, which his love and care have supplied-if so, do not fail when he is speaking to raise you heart in devout gratitude to your Heavenly Father. If not, if your friends collect around the table, and partake of the good things which God has given you, without expressing thanks to him, you need not therefore neglect or forget to thank him. Never forget that God looks at the heart, and will accept your silent thanks, though he will not be pleased if you forget

« VorigeDoorgaan »