Life-Study of Matthewby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
As we follow the Lord on the pathway to glory, we first experience rejection, and then we suffer the lack of our daily necessities. After this, we experience the storm on the way (14:22-33). The storm in chapter fourteen indicates that on the pathway where we follow the rejected King there will always be troubles. From the end of chapter thirteen to the end of chapter sixteen, there are many negative things. Humanly speaking, as we follow the rejected King on the pathway to glory, there is nothing good. It seems that everything is a problem. Do you like rejection? Do you enjoy lacking the things you need for your daily living? Do you appreciate the storm on the sea? If on our pathway there is no rejection, shortage of daily necessities, or storm, it is an indication that we are not actually on the pathway. If we are truly on the pathway to glory, we shall have problems and hardships.
Verse 22 says, “And immediately He compelled the disciples to step into the boat and to go before Him to the other side, until He send the crowds away.” Suddenly, the Lord compelled the disciples to leave Him. However, He did not go with them. He compelled them to leave by boat in order that He might have more time to pray to the Father privately. As verse 23 indicates, He went up into the mountain to pray. Before the Lord sent them away, the disciples participated in the enjoyment of the Lord’s supply. The lack of necessities had issued in a very pleasant experience. The disciples were enjoying the Lord’s supply, and they were happy. If we had been there, we would certainly have been joyful. I believe that Peter talked a great deal about what the Lord had done. He might have said, “John, isn’t this wonderful? Look what the Lord did with five loaves and two little fishes!” Then the Lord seemed to say, “Don’t talk. Step into a boat and go before Me to the other side. I realize you have been having an enjoyable time, but now you must go.” The disciples might have said, “Lord, will You go with us?” Then the Lord might have answered, “No, you go by yourselves. I am going to the mountain to pray.” Many times, immediately after a pleasant enjoyment of the Lord, He suddenly tells us to go to the sea. Then He leaves us. This is a portrait of today’s situation. The Lord has gone to the mountain, to the heavens. However, He has charged His church to go ahead on the sea, where there often are contrary winds and storms.
Verse 23 says, “And having sent the crowds away, He went up into the mountain privately to pray. And when evening came, He was there alone.” The heavenly King, as the beloved Son of the Father (3:17), standing in the position of man (4:4), needed to pray privately to His Father who is in heaven, that He might be one with the Father and have the Father with Him in whatever He did on earth for the establishment of the kingdom of the heavens. He did this not in the desert, but on the mountain, leaving all the people, even His disciples, that He might contact the Father alone.
Verse 24 says, “Now the boat was already many stadia away from the land, in the midst of the sea, distressed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.” Surely the Lord took notice of the fact that the boat was distressed by a storm. When He compelled the disciples to step into the boat and to go before Him, He foresaw that a storm was coming. Nevertheless, He did not go with them. Rather, He went away to the mountain to pray. Today the Lord Jesus is on a mountain, that is, in the heavens (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25), and the church is on the sea. Day by day we face the contrary winds. From the day we first came to Anaheim, the contrary winds have been blowing. We have not had one calm day. The church boat has constantly been distressed. However, this is our destiny. The fact that the Lord is in the heavens praying for us is a source of comfort and encouragement to us. We do not care how strong the contrary winds are, for we know that the Lord is on the mountain praying for us. The storm is not under the control of the opposition; it is under the Lord’s feet.
Do not be afraid of the contrary winds. There is no need to be disturbed by them. Others can testify for me that, no matter what happens, I am not afraid of anything. My wife can testify that every night I sleep soundly and that every afternoon I have a good nap, free from worry. Sometimes my wife is surprised that I am not troubled by the problems. I have many things to do, and it is my duty to take a good rest. Because our destiny is in the Lord’s hand, there is no reason for us to be afraid of anything. The contrary winds and the opposition are under His feet. The Lord is on a high mountain praying for us and interceding for us. He knows how strong the wind is. But He laughs at the wind and seems to say, “Little wind, you mean nothing to Me. What are you trying to do? You can’t do anything with My church. Those in the boat are My followers. In fact, they are just Me. Although I am here in the heavens, I am also with them.” What a marvelous picture this is of the high mountain, the troubling waves and contrary winds, and the little boat on the sea! The winds and the waves all work together for our good. Do you not believe that the opposition is working for our good? It certainly is. In Anaheim we have seen how much good the opposition has accomplished for us.
Some have condemned me by saying that I do not believe that Jesus Christ is in the heavens. They accuse me of being too inward, of always telling you not to look to the heavens, but to look to Christ within you. The truth is we need to look in two directions. First, we must look to the Lord within us and say, “O Lord Jesus, are You happy with Your abode in me? Do You enjoy this place?” We all need to see that Christ is in us. In order to enjoy Him, we must know that He dwells within us. If He were far away, we could not enjoy Him. Second, in order to trust in the Lord, we must look to Him in the heavens where He sits with authority and intercedes for us. Soon He may be on His way to come to us. Hallelujah, He is both within us and in the heavens interceding for us! If we see this, we shall not be distressed, troubled, or bothered by any storm, for we shall have the assurance that the boat is His boat, that the church is His church. The sea cannot damage the boat. On the contrary, the sea serves the boat. As we shall see, the wind and the waves taught Peter a great deal.
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