Summary: Did the Disciples just happen to be out on the sea when Jesus walked by? No. Jesus sent them there. Find out why.
OPEN: A Scotsman, was taking a trip to the Holy Land, and when he got to the Sea of Galilee he was aghast when he found it would cost fifty dollars an hour to rent a boat to go out on the water.
"Hoot mon," he said, "in Scotland I could ha got a boat for about $20."
"That might be true," said the boat man, "but you have to take into account that the Sea of Galilee is water on which our Lord Himself walked."
"Well, at $50 an hour," said the Scotsman, "it’s little wonder He walked."
APPLY: How much would you pay to walk where Jesus walked?
ILLUS: About 6 yrs ago, someone built a 262 ft. long transparent bridge just below the surface of the Sea of Galilee so that visitors - for a nominal cost - could walk on the water… kinda like Jesus did (based on an article in Time magazine Feb. 22, 99 p. 26)
What would you do if you had the chance to walk where Jesus walked?
Our story today tells about a man who got that opportunity.
He didn’t have to pay $50 for a boat ride.
He didn’t have to pay a nominal fee to walk out on a transparent bridge.
He was out on the sea because Jesus sent Him there, and he got to walk on the water because Jesus called for him to do so.
And he didn’t have to pay a dime for the privilege
Well, actually, there was a price Peter had to pay.
Earlier, in the 4th chapter of Matthew - Jesus challenged him (and the others) with this statement: “Follow me, and I will MAKE you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19
There was a price that Peter (and the other disciples) had to pay for their experiences. They had to allow Jesus to MAKE them into the kind of men He wanted them to be.
Now, generally – when people think about being fishermen
* they think lures and bait and fishing line and what kind of pole you need
* they think about technique
* and they think location - what part of the lake or river has the most fish
But good fishermen actually need something more.
They need the right attitude
All the technique and knowledge and gadgets will do no good if the person doesn’t have the right attitude.
Now I, for example, don’t have the right attitude to be good fisherman. I don’t have what it takes to patiently sit in a boat or stand on the shore, or walk around in the water for hours on end waiting for a fish to take the bait.
If I want to catch a fish I’ll take my wife down to grocery store, stand in the frozen food section and have her throw me a package of fish.
I don’t have what it takes to be a fisherman.
I don’t have the patience… the desire… the need to go fishing.
I just don’t have the right attitude to be a good fisherman.
Peter, James and John – were fisherman. They had plied their trade on the very sea that they saw Jesus walk on the water. But they were not yet the kind of fishermen Jesus wanted them to be. They didn’t yet have the attitude necessary to become what Jesus wanted them to be.
They lacked was the right attitude. The attitude they lacked was that of faith the Jesus wanted to build into their lives. And here on the sea of Galilee Jesus is going to teach them a lesson designed to create that very kind of faith in their lives.
Last week, we read about the feeding of the 5000.
Jesus had been teaching all day and now the crowd was hungry. So He told Philip that THEY (the disciples) should feed the crowd.
Of course, they didn’t have enough food, nor the money to buy enough food, to feed all these people. But the Gospel of John tells us that Jesus “asked this only to test (Philip), for He already had in mind what he was going to do.” John 6:6
It was a test.
Jesus’ intention (in that test) was to stretch their faith in what He could do.
BUT now, comes an even bigger lesson. And like every good teacher, Jesus sets the stage for what He wants His students to understand.
Notice: Matthew 14:22 says that “Jesus MADE the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side...”
In other words: the disciples were on the sea of Galilee because that’s where Jesus wanted them. They faced the storm on the water because that’s where Jesus sent them.
They didn’t just HAPPEN to be on the sea when Jesus walked out to them. They were there because Jesus intended to teach them a vital lesson in faith.