Matthew 14:22-33


Commentary Excerpt by Tom Boomershine

The episodes of this story are easily named: afternoon dismissal, evening, fourth watch/Jesus walking on the water, I AM, Peter's request, Peter walking on the water, and Peter and Jesus on the water and in the boat. If you visualize these scenes and notice the beginning of each of the episodes, this is an easy story to learn and remember. I would suggest you underline or highlight the beginnings of the episodes. This story flows very naturally and is very dramatic, which makes it easy to remember.

In terms of verbal threads, most of them are internal within the episodes. They help link the story together but they are not a major factor in remembering the story the way that verbal threads often are.

The setting of each of these episodes is different in tone. The beginning episode is after Jesus had been teaching most of the day and the implication is that he was tired. The tone is the weariness at the end of a long day of teaching and of relief at getting off by himself. The next episode begins with evening. Here you want to emphasize the contrast between Jesus being on the shore by himself and the disciples being out in the boat together, both in your gestures and in your mental picture of the scene. The fourth watch of the night was between three and six in the morning. The Roman watches were six to nine, nine to twelve, twelve to three, and three to six. The fourth watch was the darkest part of the night. The implication is then that Jesus left them out on the sea all night long and only came to them at three or four o'clock in the morning. You want to convey them mystery and mystique of Jesus walking on the sea at the darkest time of the night. After all, they thought that Jesus was a ghost. A goal here is to create the terror they felt because it supports the disciples then saying, "It's a ghost!" The narrative comment that ends this is a comment from the narrator directly to the audience. The storyteller’s comment—"And they cried out in fear”— emphasizes that they were really afraid.

To read the rest of this commentary, please visit http://gotell.org/stories/by-text/matthew/mt14_22-33/ 

Other resources available on GoTell.org

Audio telling of the story, Soundmap, Audio commentary, Original Image - http://gotell.org/stories/by-text/matthew/mt14_22-33/ 


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