There are actually two separate sermons within this passage of Scripture (Matthew 14:22-23, 24-33). The first part speaks of Jesus’ time alone with the Father. But for this message, I want to focus on the second part.
This passage contains the marvel of Jesus walking on water. Following the feeding of thousands of individuals from a solitary little portion of food, Jesus goes up to a mountain to pray. The disciples go through a taxing evening paddling against a strong wind.
Jesus strolls across the water to meet them. Peter walks on the water with Jesus momentarily prior to becoming scared of the wind and waves and begins to sink. Jesus saves Peter and inquires as to why he doubted. The wind stops when Jesus gets in the boat, and the disciples love Him as the Son of God.
Walking on Water Takes Faith
In the wake of placing the disciples in the boat, Jesus went up onto a mountain to pray without anyone else. He prayed for quite some time (Matthew 14:22-23). When he completed, the followers were far from land and gaining moderate headway against a strong wind. The unpleasant waves were pushing against them.
It is muddled how the disciples anticipated that Jesus should meet them on the opposite side of the water or where explicitly they planned to land. They, in the long run, show up in Gennesaret on the northwest shore of the lake (Matthew 14:34). For the present, however, they find themselves someplace in the midst of the sea, fighting against the wind.
Note that the battle these men are encountering is not the consequence of their rebellion. Despite what is generally expected, they are confronting obstruction since they submitted to Christ's command. A Christian’s life is not always going to be great, and not all difficulties are the consequence of helpless decisions.
Here, Peter was not testing Jesus, something we are advised not to do (Matthew 4:7). However, he was just the only one in the boat to respond in faith. His indiscreet solicitation drove him to encounter a fairly uncommon showing of God’s power.
Peter began to sink since he took his eyes off Jesus and zeroed in on the high waves around him. His faith faltered when he understood what he was doing. We may not take a stroll on water, yet we do walk through predicaments.
On the off chance that we center on the rushes of troublesome conditions around us without seeking Christ for help, we may also fall into gloom and despair, and begin to sink. To keep up our faith when circumstances are troublesome, we should keep our eyes on Christ’s power instead of on our deficiencies.
Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.
Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Mark 6:48-50).
When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading (John 6:19-20).
Peter got out of his safety zone — the boat. Peter took a step of faith. He began to walk on water. A storm arose, and Peter took his eyes off Jesus. When he did, he realized he was sinking. Peter did not call the other disciples or the boat crew. He knew who to call on. He called out to Jesus and asked to be saved.
Faith Wavers as Doubt Takes Hold
Even though we may begin with well-meaning goals, in some cases our faith wavers. This does not really mean we have fizzled out and failed. At the point when Peter’s faith wavered, he contacted Christ, the Only One who could help.
He was apprehensive, yet he looked to Christ. At the point when we are fearful about the difficulties around us and uncertain of Christ’s attendance or capacity to help, we should recall that he is the Only One who can truly help.
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed (Psalm 107:29).
We start off with good intentions, thinking we can accomplish our spiritual goal. But then storms may come, and we take our eyes off Christ. We start to stumble and fall. Disillusion, depression, discouragement, a myriad of negative feelings begin to kick in.
Sometimes we call on others for help instead of calling on Jesus first. The “others” do not have the true answer. Yes, our brothers and sisters in Christ can help us pray; they can pray for us. But God is the one with the answer.
Hebrews 11 is the faith chapter, where faith is mentioned 25 times. One would think that faith must be important.
Matthew 5:11-12 tells us that faith is often proved through persecution, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a “time for everything.” Everything has a purpose and a season. We need to learn to accept this.
First, Jesus saves Peter, making the wonder of walking on the water much more amazing (Matthew 14:24-25). Peter was sinking (Matthew 14:28-30), and Jesus was able to grab hold of him without sinking into the water himself. To do this, Jesus was probably solidly planted on top of the water; a stunning sight to behold, I can imagine.
Second, Jesus indeed counters our ordinary human assumptions. He does not react to Peter in the manner in which we may expect. Peter had just walked on the water like Jesus. We are not told how far that he walked on the water, however, that he did it.
He put his faith in Jesus to work through him and make it feasible for him to walk on the water. No other individual who was not the Son of God had at any point done something like this before or since.
We may anticipate that Jesus should have said, “Good job, that a boy.” Instead, Jesus offers no commendation. In the wake of saving Peter from drowning, he says broadly, “‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’” (Matthew 14:31). He reprimands Peter’s absence of faith as opposed to commending the faith with which he started.
As we read this, we might be intrigued by Peter’s underlying faith, however, Jesus is more worried about what prevented Peter from proceeding to trust Him. Peter walked on water through the power of God.
What might have potentially made him believe that he was unable to walk on water once he had effectively started to do it? The previous verse just gave the appropriate response: Peter’s fear assumed control over his faith. Fear is what held him back from proceeding to trust Jesus to enable him to do what is considered impossible.
Jesus’ reaction might appear to be insensitive, yet it pointed out a brilliant light on what Peter expected to perceive: Faith in Jesus makes anything conceivable, however, fear kills faith. Jesus walked on water not because he could, but to teach the disciples to put their attention on him and not on the storm.
A Closing Prayer
When troubled waters come your way, and your boat begins to tip and toss, don’t look at the clouds or listen to the wind, but keep your eyes on the Cross.
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Chris Swanson answered the call into the ministry over 20 years ago. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth director along with his wife, a music director, an associate pastor, and an interim pastor. He is a retired Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman with over 30 years of combined active and reserve service. You can check out his work here.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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