September 18, 2018

Jesus Our Intercessor

Matthew 14:22-33

After he had dismissed them, [Jesus] went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.

—  Matthew 14:23

The Bible shows us that Jesus speaks to the Father on our behalf. Romans 8:34 says that Jesus “is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” In 1 John 2:1 we read that Jesus is our “advocate with the Father,” and from Hebrews 7:25 we learn that Jesus “­always lives to intercede” for us.

What this intercession looks like is depicted in our reading for today. At first, this passage may raise some questions in our minds. Why would Jesus send his disciples out on the lake to struggle against a prevailing wind? And why, after leaving them alone for the night, would he go out to walk on the water just before dawn?

When we are in a struggle of some kind, even if it’s just an annoying wind, we tend to ask God, “Why?”

There are no easy answers to our questions about struggles, but the image of Jesus praying while his disciples are struggling should encourage us. It assures us that even though we may feel alone, God has not abandoned us. Jesus came to this world to share our trouble and to defeat the powers that are too strong for us to conquer. He still walks on the churning waters of life that can frighten us so! He has come to be with us in power and with love. In heaven, ruling over all things today, Jesus sees us. Through his Spirit he is with us, and he is praying for us.

Lord, when I feel I am struggling alone, help me to know that you are with me and that you are praying for me. Use me also to share this comfort with others. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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