Imperfect Discipleship

And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Matthew 14:32-33

And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

Mark 6:51-52

I do not intend this article to encourage half-hearted discipleship. No, I hope this will spur each of us one to better service! I would simply like to point out that, at best, our actions of faith are imperfect or mixed with doubt.

Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

John 6:21

Each of the gospel writers includes a different detail at the close of this scene to show us the complexities of how faith is working in the life of a child of God. The disciples willingly received Jesus into the ship. This was an act of faithful relief that their Savior had come to help them. 

Then, there is this interesting mixture we find when we combine Matthew and Mark’s accounts. When the storm instantly ceases and they were on land, they worshipped Jesus as the Son of God. This is a very bold confession of faith. Yet at the same time they were “sore amazed” because they had forgotten the miracle of the loaves and that brought doubt into their minds. This hardened heart did not prevent worship in faith but it did taint the experience.

My point is this. We can never attain perfect worship this side of being in the glorious presence of Jesus in eternity. Therefore, we should not judge our worthiness of heaven based upon our supposed quality of worship. However, we should not use this an excuse for mediocre devotion. Rather, we should see the incomplete manner in which we devote our lives to Christ and seek to improve our discipleship and worship on every new occasion.

When Jesus is the only focus and purpose of worship we will more closely fulfill our high calling that David gave us in the Psalms.

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.

Psalm 48:1

God is great. He deserves great praise. The next time the church doors are open, let us each answer the call!

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