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Immediately Jesus

The key word in Mark’s account of the gospel (at least the term that appears over and over in the book) is the word “immediately.”  It is a fun exercise to trace that word through the book of Mark.  But knowing how often it appears in that book makes it intriguing to see the word used repeatedly in other books, where it is not considered “a key word.”  In Matthew’s recording of Jesus walking on the water, the word “immediately” is found three times.  What is especially fascinating and encouraging about these three uses is the word that occurs after “immediately” every single time.  Think about this; don’t let this thought escape you too fast.  Three times Matthew says, “Immediately Jesus.”  Let’s consider what we can learn from this.

Verse 22 (of Matthew 14) says, “Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.”  It was evening time.  Earlier in the day, Jesus received news about the beheading of John the Baptist, and He “departed” to a “deserted placed by Himself” (14:13).  But the multitudes “followed Him.”  Jesus’ alone time was interrupted, and He fed the 5,000 men.  But Jesus had not had time to grieve for His dear friend.  He needed to talk to His Father.  So, the “immediately Jesus” is here to lead into Jesus going “up on the mountain by Himself to pray” (14:23).  He could not wait anymore.  “He was alone there” on the mountain to spend time with His Father.

Verse 27 says, “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’”  The intervening verses tell about the disciples getting caught in a storm in the middle of the Sea of Galilee in the middle of the night.  Jesus was alone with His Father, but when His friends were in trouble, He went to them.  When they were fearful, “immediately Jesus” spoke so that they could hear His voice and calm their anxieties.

Verse 31 says, “And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him…”  Jesus had been walking on the water to get to His disciples and then Peter, by faith, got out and walked on the water toward Him.  But Peter took His eyes off of Jesus and in a panicked and sinking cry, called out, “Lord, save me!”  Without any delay, “immediately Jesus” saved him.

There is so much we can learn from our “immediately Jesus.”  Jesus could not wait any longer to spend time with His Father.  “Immediately Jesus” moved everything from His schedule and made it happen.  When we are in trouble, “immediately Jesus” will be there to calm our fears.  When we have lost faith in Him but then realize our dangerous path, “immediately Jesus” will stretch out and save us.  Aren’t you glad that you have an “immediately Jesus” as your Friend?