Imagine that you were driving on the highway on a snowy morning and a car unexpectedly swerved into your lane. What would you do?
Or imagine that you are holding a precious newborn baby whose head nods back a little too far for your level of comfort. What would your initial reaction be?
Or pretend you were at your favorite restaurant and they just served you the most uneatable meal of your life. What would be your immediate response?
Google defines the word immediately as something done at once, without any hesitation. Immediately can also be described as our natural reaction to a particular situation. For me, if I saw a reptile, I would immediately run in the opposite direction because fear and flight are my initial responses to those creatures. In fact, my immediate response to any fearful moment is to run; but I thank God that His Son did not have the same response…
Open your bibles to Matthew 14:22-33 (NKJV is below).
Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
Do you notice a reoccurring word? In this passage, the word immediately is use three different times to state how quickly Jesus acted or responded to a situation. After having read the passage, what does this word mean to you? To me it says that Jesus saw urgency in the situation and acted or reacted expeditiously. He wanted no delay in His response time.
When the passage begins, we see the use of this word because the author is describing how quickly Jesus sent His disciples and the multitudes away. He had just finished feeding the 5,000 and He needed some time alone with the Father, so He sent everyone away and began His prayer time. There was no delay in His desire to be with the Father.
Next, the disciples were on a boat, drifting at sea, and Jesus came back to them…by walking on the sea. When they saw this, they were afraid and began saying to one another “it is a ghost!” Without delay (immediately), Jesus let them know that it was He who was approaching them and that there was no need to fear. In this use of the word, Jesus wasted no time in alleviating the fear of those that He loved.
Despite what He had said, there was one (there is always one) who needed proof in order to believe, so Peter asked Jesus to allow him to walk on water so that he could believe that it was really the Christ and not a ghost. Jesus obliged and allowed Peter to walk towards Him on the water. But then we, I mean, Peter, began to allow the wind and the conditions around him to lose faith and he began to sink in the water. Yet without delay (immediately), Jesus lifted him out of the water, admonishing him, and telling him to have more faith.
This is the same word, used in three different, yet similar ways:
1st time: to show how quickly Jesus wished to be alone with the Father.
2nd time: to show how quickly Jesus can alleviate our fear.
3rd time: to show how quickly Jesus can save us, even in the midst of our despair.
What I love about the Word is how relevant it is to our lives today. Just as the Christ was able to alleviate the fear of His disciples and save Peter in the water back then, He is able to do the same thing for us today. Same God back then, same God today.
Beloved, I encourage you to make Jesus your natural response to all of life’s situations. Allow Him to step in and calm the raging seas of your life. Allow Him to give you peace. Allow Him to be your Savior.
Call on Him without delay and He will surely show up… immediately.