Summary: A look at how Jesus invites us to great things if we have faith enough to step out.
The Invitations of Jesus
Come Out on the Water
As I was preparing sermons for this Easter Season, an old thought came to mind. Jesus was perfect and holy in every way, and yet, he was crucified for being that way. He fulfilled every prophecy of the Old Testament and yet, He was branded a heretic and a blasphemer. My thought was this: How could they be so upset at Him. Why could they not see that He was the Messiah?
Then, it hit me. You can never please all of the people, and it’s likely that if Jesus were still living among us today, He would not be liked either. In fact, He would probably be considered a criminal. Everyone would be mad at Him. For example:
• The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) would be mad at Him for turning water into wine without a license
• The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) would be angered at Him for killing fig trees
• The American Medical Association would be upset at Him for practicing medicine without a license
• The Department of Health would be up in arms for asking people to open graves, for raising the dead and for feeding 5,000 people in unsanitary conditions
• The NEA (National Educators Association) would be after Him for teaching without a certificate
• SPCA (The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) would be adamant about His driving hogs into the sea
• The National Board of Psychiatrists would be irate for Him giving advice on how to live a guilt free life
• The NOW (National Organization of Women) would surely be outraged at Him for not choosing a female apostle
• Finally, OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) would be after Him for walking on water without a lifejacket and other unsafe boating practices
I guess you can just never win even if you are perfect no matter at what time you are alive! Anyhow, even if OSHA would get upset, I do want to take a look at the boating practices of Jesus this morning. I have always been fascinated with the story of Jesus walking on the water, so I was excited to be given this as my topic this morning. If you would, please turn with me in your Bible to Matthew 14:22-32.
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It’s a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid." "Lord, if it’s you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
This morning in our brief time together, I want to take a look at two lessons we can take from this Scripture. There is so much we can learn from this passage, but I believe that it would be appropriate to ask the Lord to bless our time first. Let’s go to Him.
Lesson #1: Jesus shows up in ways we do not expect.
You think, with all that Jesus has done in His short time here on earth, we would stopped being surprised by the fact that He does ministry and shows up in ways we do not expect. In John 4, He talks to a woman at the well. How could he do this? It was unacceptable to speak to a woman at the time let alone speak to a hated Samaritan woman. If you look at the passage, you will find a word that told about the disciple’s reaction to this. In one word, it was surprise. Yet, the Word tells us that many in the town were saved because this woman testified to the entire town about her meeting with Jesus.
I could go on and on about these things. Jesus went to the house of a dead child, and He tried to convince everyone that the child was just sick. They mocked Him, but the child lived because of His power. He ate with the dreaded tax collector, Zacchaeus, and the religious people could not understand why. How could he pollute himself by eating with these sinners? Yet, Jesus brought salvation to the entire household that day. He healed on the Sabbath and people wondered why. Could it be because they needed His touch and it just happened to be a Sabbath day? Jesus had just taken 5 loaves and 2 fishes and told the disciples to feed the crowd. How could this be done? They placed it in the hands of Jesus and they had food left over. He did so many great things even on the day He walked on the water.