Summary: Sixth in the Following Jesus Series
Following Jesus Into the Storm
Oct. 30, 2005 Matthew 14:22-33
These are my actual notes and sermon handouts and they probably mean more to me than they do to you. If you don’t understand something in my notes – feel free to e-mail me for clarification (email@example.com). Here’s some deciphering hints: I use hyphens (-) to separate key elements in a thought progression. I use quotation marks when I’m illustrating what some one in the congregation might be thinking or asking at that particular point in the message or to illustrate different character voices in an illustration. Bullets are springboards for thought progressions associated with main points in a thought.
INTRO: One of the most difficult things to teach - is the fact that following Jesus lands us right in the middle of a storm – when we are being obedient – in full view of the Lord Jesus Christ – we encounter a storm.
That’s the subject I’m going to be dealing with this morning – following Jesus is the hardest thing you’ll ever do – and it isn’t made easier by the fact that He allows us to get into circumstances that make us question His love and question His intentions for us.
But Jesus’ intentions for you are above reproach – never does He allow a storm in your life that he doesn’t have an eternal purpose in mind. - wants you to get out of the boat and walk by faith…
Setting the scene. It had been a hard day, it began with the news of the beheading of John the Baptist. Jesus suggested to the disciples that they go over to a deserted place across the sea. When they arrived they found a crowd waiting for them. Jesus ministered unto them healing their sick. Late in the afternoon the disciples asked Jesus to send them away. Jesus said we need to feed them first. It was then that He took the five loaves and the two fish and with them fed the 5,000 men with the women and children. Jesus now commanded the disciples to get into the ship and go over to the other side.
Couple of things to keep in mind about storms first…
1. The Follower of Jesus will Encounter Resistance.
MATT. 14:22Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.
• Doing what Jesus commanded – Resistance
• Jesus not with them – time in all our lives – need to be faithful to the last thing Jesus said even when not with us.
• He is with us!
A long way from land – other gospels = 3-3½ miles out
Beaten by waves – buffeted – tossed – means afflicted/harassed.
ILLUS: Don’t know if you’ve ever tried to row against a wind – it tries to turn the boat – struggle to keep bow into the wind – if go sideways – driven by the wind – danger of capsizing – could be disciples not making any headway – just trying to keep bow into the wind.
Do not think it strange when you encounter resistance obeying Jesus.
• Satan wants you to think that – when you encounter resistance you must be out of His will.
• More than likely – the exact opposite is true!
• Expect resistance - Sometimes, even in obedience – no head way – keep straining – keep bow into the wind – help will come…
2. Jesus will come to you in the Storm
25And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.
• Not immediately – don’t become impatient when doesn’t rescue NOW!
• Fourth watch – broken up into watches – Romans 4 – Jews 3 – 3-6am.
• Long struggle – no help from Jesus
• Chap. 8 – they learned He could still the storm – but now no Jesus.
• All could do is remain faithful to last word they heard
• Probably grumbling – “Lord if you were here… - Lazarus wouldn’t died”
Where is God when you really need Him? – he’ll come to you in the storm!
• Needed to learn that Jesus knew and was concerned even though alone.
• “…He came to them,…” – could have met them on the other side – didn’t
• “…walking on the sea.” – supernatural appearance – coming.
26But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid."