Summary: PENTECOST 12 (A) - Can you walk on water? Our human doubt rages against divine faith. Faith will finally hold fast to Jesus.
CAN YOU WALK ON WATER? (Outline)
August 15, 2010 -
Pentecost 12 -
INTRO: Our world only offers hope in earthly things. We can become all too comfortable with our earthly blessings. We gather money and possessions and can feel all too happy, safe, and secure. We hear news that is shocking. The report from our doctor stuns us. Our Lord Jesus warns us that earthly wealth can easily become a barrier to heaven itself. Jesus explained how the rich would find it more difficult to enter heaven than for the camel to go through the eye of a needle. “Who can be saved?” asked the disciples. "Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God’" (MARK 10:27).
CAN YOU WALK ON WATER?
I. Doubt rages against faith. II. Faith holds fast to Jesus.
All things are possible with God that seem impossible to man.
I. DOUBT RAGES AGAINST FAITH.
A. Verse 22. After miraculously feeding the 5,000 + Jesus dismisses the crowd of people.
1. The crowd wanted Jesus to be their king. But not a Savior-king, only a bread-king.
2. Jesus sends his disciples ahead. Jesus would now be able to spend time alone with disciples.
B. Verse 23. Jesus prepares himself by praying, communing with his heavenly Father. Jesus is alone.
1. Verse 24. Night comes. The disciples are still on Galilee still rowing against a strong storm.
2. Verse 25. The fourth watch is from 3 - 6:00am. The disciples battled the storm about 9 hours.
C. Verse 26. The disciples think they see a ghost walking on the water. They are frightened and scared.
1. It was very stormy. It was windy. It was dark. Doubt beat against the faith of the disciples.
2. Later, Peter doubts and begins to sink. Jesus asks, “Why did you doubt?” Doubt rages.
D. We are not exempt from doubt. The devil uses to doubt to try to drive a wedge between our faith, between our God and us and us. Satan sowed the seed of doubt from the very beginning in the Garden of Eden. “Did God really say?” “You will not surely die.” We have a gracious God and loving Father who invites us to come to him with any and every request. The Lord God Almighty wants every one of us to come before his throne of grace with boldness and confidence. God encourages us to pray. God is always ready to hear. God promises to answer. We pray half-heartedly, thinking what good is it? My situation is hopeless – impossible. That is doubt speaking not faith. "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind" (JAMES 1:6).
E. The devil uses doubt to distract us. There is plenty of doubt to go around in our sinful society and sinful lives. In our information age we often turn to the experts for the answers. Our access to experts is instantaneous and unlimited. Our confidence can be misplaced in what man might think he knows. We look to the experts and look away from the Lord. Or worse, we begin to think that we personally have all the answers and always know what is best. This is our selfish, sinful nature. "This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD’" (JEREMIAH 17:5). In subtle ways doubt tries to turn our faith away from God.
F. Without God there is really no hope of any life worth living. Yet in our society today all too many live lives without God. Mankind likes to think he is in control. We drill for oil. Disaster happens. How will the oil ever be cleaned up? The oil in the ocean is already gone. The seafood is already safe to eat. The infinite wisdom of God overcomes the raging doubts of humanity. "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat--for he grants sleep to those he loves" (PSALM 127:1,2). How often do we toil endlessly? God provides. To God always be the glory!
CAN YOU WALK ON WATER? Reason, human thinking, and doubt all say “no”. We live by faith.
II. OUR FAITH HOLDS FAST TO JESUS.
A. Peter often ends up with a questionable reputation. Peter often speaks and acts before thinking.
1. Isn’t Peter’s speaking and acting without thinking – actually, really, an act of faith?
2. There is a storm, a struggle, a scary scene, and the Savior. It is windy, wet, and dark.