Walking on Water and Crossing the Sea: Jesus and the Exodus (Matthew 14:22-36)(Proper 14A/Ordinary 19A)

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Welcome to Bible Study for Progressives, a show where moderates, liberals, and leftists of all faiths and ideologies come together to discuss scripture, spirituality, and politics. Today, we will examine the story of Jesus walking on the water. This show will feature our own Bert Newton, the author of Subversive Wisdom: Sociopolitical Dimensions of John’s Gospel.

Bert has now turned his attention to Matthew. He’s been teaching a class called “Parody and Subversion in Matthew’s Gospel.” This is a recording of one of those classes.

In this session, we will read Matthew chapter 14, verses 22 to 36, and ask how ancient readers would have understood the story. Given their grounding in Hebrew scripture, early Christians would have seen allusions to Moses, the Exodus, and the crossing of the Red Sea in the story of Jesus walking on the water.

Just like Moses, Jesus is the savior of the nation of Israel. Just as in the crossing of the Red Sea, Jesus performs a miracle and he and the disciples cross over the sea. Just as in the Exodus, Jesus is leading his people to freedom.

In Matthew, Jesus is portrayed as the new Moses. He is the new liberator, delivering us from oppression and teaching us the way to the promised land which is the kingdom of God. The purpose of the story is to encourage us to keep the faith, to continue in the movement even when it looks hopeless.

Join us as we dig deep into this famous story and ask what relevance it has for today’s world and for us? It’s important to remember that Peter walked on the water, too, even if only for a moment. We too can walk on water just like Peter did; we too can change the world if we only have enough faith.

I hope you enjoy this special edition of Bible Study for Progressives. This is Rich Procida. Enjoy.

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