Summary: While the other disciples cowered in the boat, Peter jumped ship and headed for Jesus. How would you have handled the situation?
Matthew 14: 22 – 33 How?
Intro: A woman was walking down a city street when she heard a voice in her ear say, “STOP!” – Startled, she did and a brick fell from the roof above and fell right in front of her. She could have been killed. – A few days later, she was again walking on a busy street and she heard the voice again, “STOP!” She did just as a car came whizzing by missing her. The voice had saved her life twice. – Curious, she spoke to the voice asking who it was. The voice said she was her guardian angel and was sent to keep her safe. Angrily, the woman replied, “Well, where were you the day I got married?” (Illustration from sermon, LAWNMOWERS or MOTORCYLES? by Bruce Ball found on SermonCentral.com)
I. Not about Peter’s lack of faith. --- It is really about taking risks. How?
A. Read verses 25 – 26 Wouldn’t it be neat to walk on water like Jesus? Controversy about “on, by, in or at” the water. Doesn’t matter.
B. Verse 28 – “If it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” – step out in faith – do something.
C. African Impala can jump over 10 feet and cover a distance greater than 30 ft. – Can be kept in any zoo with a 3ft. wall. – They will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall. – Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see. – you can’t walk on water unless you get out of the boat!
II. Verses 29 – 30 Jesus comes to us across the storms of life, with outstretched hand to save and a calm clear voice bidding us to not be afraid.
A. Peter does OK until he takes his eyes off Jesus and the moment he does, his faith starts to falter and he pays the price.
B. Verse 31 - Peculiar word used for doubt (äéóôÜîù / distazo) – connotes vacillation, not skepticism. – focusing on the crisis instead of on the Christ – triumph turns to tragedy when we lose sight of the goal.
C. A photographer was assigned to get photos of a great forest fire. Smoke hampered him. Rented a plane. Got to airport, plane on runway. Jumped in yelling, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” – make 3 or 4 low level passes – Why? – I’m a photographer taking pictures of fire. – After a pause the pilot said, “you mean you’re not the instructor?” --- Faith isn’t an excuse for foolishness.
III. We like to think of ourselves like Peter; but aren’t we most like the other disciples. How? Verse 33 – “Those who were in the boat worshiped him.”
A. While Peter was out taking risks, the rest of the disciples stayed in the boat. – They were the “sensible ones.” – stayed in their comfort zone – go down with the ship.
B. Peter leaps before he looks, which is still better wisdom than that of the person who looks for so long they never leap.
C. How? – How is it possible the Rick Warren, Author of “The Purpose Driven Church” and “The Purpose Drive Life” has built Saddleback Church into the huge success that it is ? - Because he and his members were willing to take risks.
Conclu: A fisherman spent half a day picking out just the right campsite by the river. He spent the remainder of the day setting up his tent, grill and other equipment. Early the next morning, he found a nice rock to sit on down by the river bank and he began to cast his line to catch some fish. About 2 hours went by and he didn’t even have a nibble. He did notice the fish were jumping like crazy several hundred yards upstream. --- If you were that fisherman, how would you catch some fish? How?
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