“Why him…and not me”

Author Max Lucado recently rocked my world with one of his daily devotions. He pointed out a detail in a well-known passage of the Bible that I had never noticed before:

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.” Mathew 14:22-33 (NIV)

Lucado shared verse 33: “Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him…” Lucado points out this is the first time in the gospels that the 12 corporately praised and worshiped Jesus. He then lists the times they didn’t:

  • When He heals the leper
  • When He forgives the adulteress
  • When He preaches to the masses
  • When they were willing to follow
  • When they were willing to leave family
  • When they were willing to cast out demons
  • When they were willing to be in His army

Lucado then asks what was different this time. The answer? This time they were the ones who were saved. That got me to thinking, how often do we give God praise and worship for the blessings He lavishes on others? Consider these three questions (warning: they will likely make you increasingly uncomfortable as you attempt to answer each one):

Have you praised God for blessing someone who you don’t think “deserves” the blessing?

Have you praised God for lavishing a blessing on someone else when you’ve felt you deserve it more?

Have you praised God for lavishing a blessing on someone who has hurt you?

The root problem here is envy, and it goes all the way back to Cain and Abel. And it’s as toxic now as it was then. It’s why Jesus put such a premium on always putting others before self. This is an impossible lift under our own power.  But because of Christ’s work on the cross, His grace is enough to keep us from second-guessing God when He blesses others. Always give God thanks for every good thing, whether it lands in our lap, or someone else’s.

— Pastor Jerry Bader, Samaritan’s Heart Mission Church

1 Comment
  • Steve Launer
    Posted at 18:58h, 14 August Reply

    What a great observation. We are all selfish, when we should be self-less. Thanks for this one Jerry (and Max)!

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