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Summary: "Walking On Water" has become synonymous with perfection.

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"DON'T JUMP SHIP!"

Text: Matthew 14:22-33

Introduction:

Intro: A very familiar story. "Walking On Water" has become synonymous with perfection. Most of us have admired Peter's courage. Just to step out of that boat took a great deal of something. Call it courage...faith...reckless abandon...whatever. But I want to look at Peter's walk on the wild side from a little different angle, if I may.

I. JESUS PUT THEM IN THE BOAT [v.22]

A. He was urgent about it. {"Straightway"}

Immediately. Without hesitation. They didn't need to pray about it or ponder it.

B. He was emphatic about it. {"Constrained"}

This word -- anagkazo in the Greek -- is very emphatic, very strong.

Note: John tells us why Jesus acted so urgently: "Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone." [Jn.6:14,15] Jesus knew the people's motives weren't right and neither was their timing. His disciples were still too immature to understand this. They would have been greatly influenced by such flattery.

II. THEY EXPERIENCED A STORM [v.24]

A. This storm came because they were in God's Will.

1. If they had disobeyed Jesus and stayed on land, they would have been in a crowd of people where they were very popular at the moment. They might have even been treated like celebrities because of their relationship to Jesus.

2. Because they obeyed Christ, they were now in a boat all alone, in the midst of the sea, in a storm.

B. There are two kinds of storms.

1. Storms of Correction. Example: Jonah. In these storms God disciplines us for willful disobedience.

2. Storms of Perfection. In these storms, God is helping us to grow.

III. JESUS WAS PRAYING FOR THEM [v.23]

A. Jesus Saw them and knew their need.

"And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them."[Mk.6:48]

B. Jesus is praying for His people today, too.

"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."[Rom.8:34]

IV. JESUS WENT TO THEM [v.23]

"Why did Jesus walk on the water? To show His disciples that the very thing they feared was only a staircase for Him to come to them." -Warren Wiersbe

V. PETER JUMPED SHIP [v.28]

A. Peter's Response was spawned by doubt and fear, rather than faith. ["if..."] Faith doesn't say, "if"; faith says “because.”

Illustration: Two thieves on the Cross. One said, "If thou be the Christ, save thyself and us, too." The other said, "Lord, remember me."

B. Peter was abandoning Jesus' initial command.

C. Jesus allowed Peter to leave the ship to teach him a very valuable lesson.

1. If Peter's faith had not wavered, if his eyes hadn't wandered, he could have made it.

2. But, when you jump ship, the odds are against you.

**Example… White-water rafting – falling out of the boat.**

VI. JESUS HAS PLACED US IN SOME SHIPS

-Human relationships...

-Marriage partnership...

-Church membership...

A. Storms will come because you are in that ship.

B. Jesus is watching your ship and praying for you.

Illustration: Jesus' warning to Peter, and promise to pray for him. Lk.22:31-33 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.

C. Jesus will come to your ship in your hour of need.

When things seem lost, when the outlook is bleak, when hope is all but gone He will be there.

D. You don't have to walk on water; Just don't jump ship.

CONCLUSION: Thousands of people are jumping from one religion to another, from one marriage to another, from one church to another, looking for a sea with no storms.

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