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Summary: God is calling for us to have the right focus for life

Focus: Our best friend or worst enemy?

Matthew 14:22-36

March 22, 1998

Morning Service


1. Apollo 13 Mission: The mission was doomed, there numerous problems and failures, the only thing that saved the men on board was creativity and will to live, at one specific point in the mission the computers were frozen and the crew needed to make a pivotal course correction, they needed to burn the thrusters for thirty two seconds to make the proper adjustment, they needed a fixed point in space to direct them and keep them on course, after some discussion they place the earth in their target and used their destination asa focal point, they made the journey home successfully because they kept their focus on the goal

2. The need to keep focused: Focus can be our best friend or worst enemy, when we keep our focus on positive things it is a true friend, when we focus on the negative it becomes our worst enemy, our focus is a choice and where we place that focus is our responsibility,

3. Where do you keep your focus?


1. Jesus is alone at last

A. Jesus sends the disciples: Jesus sends the disciples on to the other side of the lake, Jesus may have been protecting the disciples by sending them on, John tells us that the crowds were caught in a Messiah fever, he did not want the disciples caught in it as well, so he sent them on, he puts them out of harm’s way,

B. Jesus Dismisses the crowds: The work of the day was done, Jesus did healings, fed the multitude and most likely taught the people, now was time to dismiss the people, Jesus needed to send them away because of two reasons -

1: The people were losing control - the people had the wrong expectations of the messiah, there was an uprising brewing, they were ready to make Jesus their King and take on Rome, Jesus needed to sqealch this atmosphere and attitude, easiest way was to let the crowds go,

2: Jesus needed to be alone - it was the whole reason He came across the sea to begin with, The crowds focus was on a wrong picture of Jesus and they were sent away, where is your focus?

C. Jesus gets alone to pray:

1. Jesus is alone: Jesus finally gets some time, when the crowds are gone, the needs have been met, the day is done, Jesus was exhuasted - He needed a break, some time to recover, time for spiritual refreshment, Jesus takes time to pray,

2. Jesus has his priorities: He acknowledges that God is the source of his strength and power, Jesus creates a model for us to follow, a standard of spiritual life, God is the source of power & strength, even when things are going well we need to spend special time with God, Jesus puts his focus on God, where is your focus?

2. Jesus appears on the Water

A. Jesus walks on the water:

1. Jesus takes a stand: Jesus was never bound to tradition or status quo, constantly did the unexpected, he defied the nature of tradition and nature of existence, Jesus sees the disciples out in the storm, so he goes out to them,

2. Jesus does the impossible: defying natures existence & defining the extent of His power Jesus walks across the water toward the boat, Jesus defined His power and his compassion, he entered their difficult situation, Jesus is always there when we need Him

B. The disciples were afraid:

1. Fear attacks: Disciples were battling the storm, disciples had been in the boat between 6-8, they were in the middle of a strong storm and couldn’t make any progress, they struggled long and hard, their lives were in danger from the storm, disciples were discouraged, disgusted, dishearted and disappointed,

2. The figure appears: they then see a figure on the water, ancient legends had it that demons made their homes in the sea and came out at night, in the midst of the storm they believed this figure was a ghost or phantom, this ghost caused the storm and now would destroy them all, disciples focused on fear and it controled them, where is your focus?

C. Jesus calms their fears:

1. Jesus’ voice: Jesus speaks to them, His voice w3ould have been familiar, well known source of comfort, they knew his voice,

2. Jesus’ words: Jesus’ words were extremely important - It is I: Greek - Ego Emi: I am - Equal to God’s statement in Exodus of being I am, Jesus was telling them who He was in two ways a: Jesus allowed them know Him as their Master, b: He let them know him as their God

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