The lectionary reading for this week is the familiar story of Jesus walking across the water in Matthew 14:22-33. It’s very easy to let your eyes glaze over when you’re looking at the story for the hundredth time. But there’s something about the text that bothered me reading it through this time and I’m not sure that it isn’t supposed to bother me. Peter has jumped out of the boat and done something that required way more faith than I would ever be able to muster: walking across the water to Jesus. And when he starts to sink, Jesus pings on him: "Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?" Little faith? A man who just walked on water for the first time? Really Jesus?
Sometimes Jesus really does act like a jerk. When he’s on the road to Emmaus and he comes across two downcast disciples who are devastated by his death, what does he say in response to their expression of grief? "How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!" (Luke 24:25). Because the necessity of the crucifixion and resurrection of Israel’s messiah is entirely self-evident to any non-fool who isn’t slow to believe the words of the Hebrew prophets? Really Jesus? Sure, you can connect the dots retroactively so that the whole story fits together, but why would it make anyone "foolish" and "slow to believe" that they didn’t connect those dots on their own without Jesus’ help?
See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.
POOR JESUS...! This article - although I am certain, well-meaning - really rakes Jesus over the coals, accusing him of being a "jerk..." There are three references to events in Jesus' life that earn him this disrespectful slur by this author:
Walking on Water
The Syrian Woman's Daughter
The Brothers at Emmaus
Unfortunately, if one reads these stories in the Bible, they do make Jesus look bad - and sound bad. But happily, people do love Jesus, in spite of some of these questionable things that he says to people, according to the Bible. His goodness eclipses any unfortunate misunderstandings that may arise from Biblical stories about Jesus.
In this article I believe the author is well-meaning, just because it appears to me that this is his way of knowing Jesus better - trying to gain insight into his motivation and mind-set by second-guessing the Master and his motivations. Given the scant scriptural information under which truthseekers have labored all these centuries, it is not too surprising to see a true seeker really delving in the mind of Jesus, trying to make some sense of these events from a novel angle.
Wouldn't it be nice to read the real details and the real truth about these stories? They are all actual events, and really did happen during Jesus life in the flesh - wouldn't it be great if the records of Jesus' life were opened to us, so that we could all know Jesus more completely - Jesus as he really lived and believed?
Well, we DO have access to such records, and they are contained in Part IV of The Urantia Book - The Life and Teachings of Jesus. The Urantia Book is a gift to mankind from heavenly government, delivered by angels, Melchizedeks, and other celestial personalities, including those who were eyewitnesses to the Master's life - all of it.
As a sampler, here are links to those stories covered by the author in the article as told in The Urantia Book:
As you'll read, the entire episode was a vivid dream of Peter's, after a day of emotional stress. It became part of only Mark's gospel; even then, it was hard to believe. The truth is that Jesus would never have walked on water. It would have been an abrogation of natural law, and he had sworn not to do that.
Click to read more about that HERE
In this story, we find out that it was not Jesus who spoke so rudely to the woman (Norana by name). It was the apostle Simon. In all stories of Jesus, you will never witness him being sarcastic, rude or unloving to any. His ministry to this woman was superb.
Here we discover that this resurrection appearance was Jesus' seventh of nineteen appearances
He didn't insult the brothers and call them names. He simply said: "How slow you are to comprehend the truth!" That's all. And then he went on to outline and name every way that he had presented himself to the world, and also he cited the scriptural references that he had fulfilled. Like the Bible story, but much better...
If you are also interested in knowing more about Jesus and his life; if you are a seeker for truth, no matter where you may find it - The Urantia Book accounts of Jesus' life will surprise and delight you. These three are only a tiny fraction of the thrilling narrative that comprises The Life and Teachings of Jesus from The Urantia Book.