This morning we read the Gospel account of Peter walking on water at the Lord’s command (Mt 14:22-34).
Have you ever noticed? Christ goes around the New Testament making impossible commands.
Peter asked for an obedience, so: “Come to me.” And Peter obeyed the command to do the impossible, and received divine power to do so (for a moment anyway.)
To the paralytic: “Do the one thing you cannot do: Get up and walk.”
To the man with the withered arm, who by definition cannot stretch out his hand: “Stretch out your hand.”
To the blatantly impossible command, Christ adds grace, the divine power to do the impossible; and when man’s little “yes” is added, the miracle happens. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord!”
Here and now Christ commands the impossible: Forgive that person. Get up and go to that painful job again today, practicing gratefulness and refusing bitterness, and be light and salt. Love your wife sacrificially, submit to your husband. Pour out mercy on that hateful person, do good to them and pray with genuine warmth of love for those who hate you. And Christ faithfully provides the power to do the impossible in response to our little Yes.
I don’t raise many people from the dead. But to whatever extent I obey those impossible commands, the grace of patience, peace, love, and forgiveness are seen “not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”