Summary: The third in a six-part series ‘Get Your Feet Wet.’

In your bulletin this morning, is an insert with our series text from Matthew 14. Please take that out.

What I want you to do this morning is to read this passage as I read Mark and John’s accounts of this event. As I do so, write down what you notice is different and similar to Matthew’s account.

First Mark’s account found in chapter 6:45-52:

“Immediately after this, Jesus made his disciples get back into the boat and head out across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. Afterward he went up into the hills by himself to pray.

During the night, the disciples were in their boat out in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land. He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning he came to them, walking on the water. He started to go past them, but when they saw him walking on the water, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost. They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “It’s all right,” he said. “I am here! Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were astonished at what they saw. They still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the multiplied loaves, for their hearts were hard and they did not believe.” (NLT)

Now over to John’s account in John 6:16-21 and again follow along with your insert:

That evening his disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed out across the lake toward Capernaum. Soon a gale swept down upon them as they rowed, and the sea grew very rough. They were three or four miles out when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, but he called out to them, “I am here! Don’t be afraid.” Then they were eager to let him in, and immediately the boat arrived at their destination! (NLT)

Now what is different between these three passages? (Allow for several responses.) Thank you! There are several but what I paid the most attention to were these two:

1. Only Matthew’s account includes Peter’s story.

2. Jesus sees them in trouble from a distance.

Now what is the same between these three passages? (Allow for several responses.) Thank you!

(Slide 1) This is what I noticed: ‘I am here! Don’t be afraid.’

There are differing amounts of details but one common theme to story (Slide 1a) – the assurance of Jesus that He is present.

The reasons for the differences in the three accounts are many: the understandable difference due to the perspective of each of the writers who were there when it happened is probably the biggest. One other reason has to do with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to each writer as they wrote.

But the constant in each account is the presence and assurance of Jesus in their midst.

Many times, we tend to get tangled up in our perspectives when talking about a shared event. For example, an auto accident. Three different people can see the same accident but often notice different things that together (we hope) give a complete picture of what happened.

As we continue our series, ‘Get Your Feet Wet!’ our focus is on the Assurant presence of Jesus in the midst of the storm and fear.

Our focus for this morning are these verses from Matthew’s account: (Slide 2)

Afterward he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves… But Jesus spoke to them at once. “It’s all right,” he said. “I am here! Don’t be afraid.” Matthew 14:23-24, 27 (NLT)

(Slide 3) Two things to remember this morning: 1. Although He often seems absent God is never far away. 2. Jesus is with us in the fears and anxieties of life but sometimes it takes time to see Him there.

Now a couple of questions come to mind that I believe need to be asked and answered this morning.

First, (Slide 4) how do we see Jesus and how do we remind one another and ourselves that God is not far away? We do so through developing a clear ‘inner’ vision through some very important ways that I will share in a moment.

Second, (Slide 5) how do we ‘see’ Jesus in the fears and anxieties of life? By learning to wait on/for Him that comes through trust.

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