Summary: Jesus commanded the disciples to go ahead in another ship while he prayed upon a mountain. The disciples encountered contrary winds in the midst of the sea. But the contrary wind was actually an opportunity for the Lord to reveal his great power. Jesus la
Intro: There was a feeling of victory by the apostles after the miraculous feeding of 5,000 men. After moments of spiritual blessings and victories, we are to take heed and be watchful. Jesus commanded the disciples to go ahead in another ship while he prayed upon a mountain. The disciples encountered contrary winds in the midst of the sea. But the contrary wind was actually an opportunity for the Lord to reveal his great power. Jesus later on appeared to His storm-tossed disciples walking on the sea on the 4th watch of the night (v.25). In the darkest and stormy hours of the night, the disciples witnessed the powers of Jesus!
1. A Bold Petition. Peter said, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water...” (v.28). This seems a great request but not exactly too great. "Lord, IF it be thou." The truth is, the Lord is able to do above all we ask (Eph. 3:20). Yet, none dare speak and make a request except Peter. He wanted to walk closer to Jesus while others shrank from fear and unbelief. Let us seek the privilege of walking closer with Jesus even where fleshly wisdom and feelings dictate otherwise! (II Cor. 4:18)
2. An Open Invitation. "And he said, Come..." (v.29a). A door of opportunity is now opened for Peter’s faith. He is invited to walk where only the feet of faith dare go. The believer’s walk is supernatural for he walks by faith (II Cor. 5:7). In the eyes of the worldly-wise, such is foolishness. Every believer is invited by Jesus to walk with Him by faith on the sea of life as He walked.
3. A Successful Attempt. "When Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus." (v.29b). The seemingly impossible can be accomplished through simple faith in the Lord’s words (Luke 1:37; 18:27). The life of faith implies the complete abandonment of every other source of security. We must get out of the ship of earthly wisdom unto heavenly understanding. Jesus is not fully trusted until our hands are off the ship of all earthly crutches and looking unto Him only!
4. A Momentary Failure. "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid..." (v.30a). Perhaps Peter expected the storm would cease when he stepped out of the ship to act on Jesus’ invitation. Our troubles don’t cease all even when we walk toward Jesus’ direction. Our faith will surely be tried. Peter saw the strong wind, was afraid, and began to sink, because he got more concerned about the storm than the Lord! (Heb. 12:2a)
5. An Earnest Prayer. "And beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me." (v.30b). He who is perishing must not hesitate to cry out for salvation. Peter was wise in crying for help as soon as he began to sink. Many will wait until they are sinking up to their necks. See how Peter prayed one of the shortest answered prayers in the Bible. Jesus makes us realize that, apart from His continual help, we can do nothing but fear, tremble and sink! He does answer sincere prayers for salvation (Rom. 10:13).
6. A Speedy Deliverance. "Immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him..." (v.31a). Instant confession brought instant salvation! Help comes directly from Jesus. Peter was not sent back to the ship. No ropes, lifeline or anything from the ship. Here the ship is a type of religion. There is no help for the troubled and perishing from man-made religion. Jesus caught Peter, so he safely found refuge in the arms of the Lord. These strong and ready arms are still outstretched today (Psa. 138:7).
7. A Gentle Rebuke. "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" (v.31b). Nothing displeases the Lord than unbelief. Sadly, those who have entrusted their souls to Him cannot entrust their bodies to Him! Those who have trusted Him for eternity cannot trust Him for the temporal! Yet, the gentleness of Jesus is manifest in us with so little faith. If we have truly trusted Jesus, let us seek to trust Him wholly. None will be ashamed that trust Him in the day of trouble! (Rom. 10:11)
8. A Blessed Result. "And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased" (v.32). Peter now walks WITH Jesus – saved from fear, where before he feared and sank. His WALKING TO Jesus was a testing time, but his WALKING WITH Him is now calm and peaceful. The wind is still as boisterous as ever, but Peter fears no evil, for the Lord is with him (Psa. 23:4a).
Conclusion: When Jesus came into the ship the wind ceased! Peter experienced the near presence of Jesus which is the secret of a triumphant Christian life. Christian friend, does Jesus find you in fear and trouble now? If so, trust Him to calm your life’s storms. Unsaved friend, if you have not yet called upon Jesus to save you, you can do so and allow Him into your life right now.