Summary: In this message we will see that the only call that God has made is to a extreme faith.
Getting Out Of The Boat
SHOW VIDEO CLIP –EXTREME SPORTS
One afternoon Peter and his friends got into a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. Jesus wanted to be alone (He was off in the hills praying), so they were boating without him. But Peter didn’t mind – he’d been on boats his whole life.
BUT before too long they were no longer just cruising across the lake catching rays – a storm came blowing in – and not just a little one, this storm was big… Matthew says the boat was “buffeted” by the waves. In fact it was so violent that about the only thing the disciples, who were seasoned sailors could do, was to keep the boat upright. And I imagine that as the waves with great force pummeled the boat that they probably wished that the sides of the boat were a little higher and a little thicker…
For over 8 hours these 12 men fought against the sea. Imagine fighting the sea and the wind for 8 straight hours – with no rest, no cabin to down into, no time for food, Dramamine – and after those 8 hours they were still in the middle of the lake – they were getting nowhere… Their arms and legs were without a doubt throbbing with pain… their bodies soaked to the bone – their hopes fading fast – by 3 in the morning I am certain that the disciples were no longer worried about getting to other side – they just wanted to stay alive, to keep this thing afloat.
Then one of the disciples holding his hands above his face to block the wind & water, noticed a shadow moving toward them on the water. Was it just a wave, another boat? As it got closer, it became apparent that it was a person walking on the water.
Take a momnet to let that sink in.
How would you have react if you were them? You exhausted, FOR 8 hours you’ve been fighting the sea non-stop, hoping to stay alive… And then in darkness you see someone walking on the water towards you. “Do you see what I see…yeah, but it can’t be…”
Sure - these guys had spent a lot of hours on a boat, but they had never seen this before – someone walking on water… They were terrified and they cried out in fear.
Now, in hindsight we might wonder how in the world could they not have known who it was… I mean did they know anyone who was able to do extraordinary and supernatural things? Who else could it be… Jesus had just feed 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish and he had done so many other powerful miracles…that were designed to le them know that nothing is impossible with God.
Now I’ve heard this story – tons of times and so have some of you. BUT in his book, If You Want To Walk On Water You have To get Out Of The Boat… John Otreberg, gives some fresh insight, that I think really adds some awesome color to this water walking event.
SO – just what was Jesus up to, walking around a lake a 3 o’clock in the morning?
Well, we find an awesome clue in Mark’s version of this story. Mark in chapter 6 of his Gospel tells us, that Jesus – “came to them walking on water; and He intended to pass by them.” (NASB) What does that mean? “He intended to pass by them.”
Was Jesus trying to race them – “hey guys I win.” Was he just trying to show them a really neat trick? “Hey guys check this out”
No of course not - but what was he doing?
The answer is found by looking at the Greek word ‘parerchomia’ that is translated (‘to pass by’). You see, this word is a technical term used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament to a theophany.
Okay - What’s a theophony? Theophonies were those power moments, those times when Almighty God who is unseen - made a visible appearance into the earthly realm - in order to communicate a message to an individual or a group of people…For example;
God put Moses behind a rock so Moses could see, “while God’s glory passed by” (Ex 33:22)
AND - God told Elijah to stand on the mountain, “for the lord was passing by…” (1 King 19:1)
Understand - there is a pattern to these stories. In each case God had to get people’s attention – through a burning bush, or wind and fire or walking on water. And in each instance God is calling a person to do something extraordinary. Hey you can trust me. You know my character and my competence. You can safely place your destiny in my hand….