Summary: If we would learn to worship Jesus in spite of the storm, we wouldn’t have to worry. We could be happy in knowing that he will help us to walk on the water with him.
In Spite of the Storm
By Pastor Jim May
Jesus was the Miracle Working Man from Galilee. He was The Great Hope of the Jews. To many who watched him perform miracles, signs and wonders, Jesus was the Great Messiah, the Deliverer. For many of them he was the answer to their prayers, the hope of their future and the shining light of a brand new day. Yes, he was all of these things, but the one thing about Jesus that very few of the Jews really understood was that Jesus was the Very Son of God, the Savior of the World, the Great Physician who had come not just to perform miracles and healings, but to heal men of their sin. Though the Jews often lifted up praises to Jesus, and though they had great expectations of him, the Jews never fully understood that Jesus was Very God in their midst.
They had their hearts set upon the things of this world and not upon the things of the Spirit. Their thoughts were for today and not for eternity. They are a picture of much of the church world today.
Jesus had just fed the 5000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. It wasn’t much but how many of you know that Little is Much When God is in it? I’d rather have a small church and have the blessings of God than a mega-church where there is no moving of the Spirit. I’d rather live from week to week depending upon the Lord to meet my needs and have his blessings upon my life than to have all the gold I could hold and not know Jesus. I’d rather ride a bicycle and have the hand of God upon me than to drive a Rolls Royce and not know him. God’s blessings upon the little that I may have is vastly greater than having the curse of sin upon any great abundance that I could have.
The Jews on that hillside that day watched as this great miracle unfolded right before their very eyes. As a piece of bread was broken off and placed in the basket, the loaf of bread would simply reappear. Jesus is that Bread of Life. In effect he was trying to tell the people that the Bread that He offered could never be fully consumed but that he was all-sufficient for them.
But the people didn’t see that sermon as Jesus preached it through this miraculous illustration. Their minds were set on earthly things and all they saw was a great prophet performing a miracle before their very eyes. It was something that none of them had ever seen before for it had been many years since such miracles had been performed in their midst. Surely this Jesus must be the promised Messiah.
Then they watched as the 2 fish grew and grew until everyone was filled and there was fish left over. What a great miracle this was! Who could this Jesus be but the Messiah they had waited for, for so long?
At first it was just a whisper, then a rumble, then a roar, then a shout! The Messiah has come! This must be the Messiah – the Deliverer! The people would have made Jesus their Messiah right then and there but it was not a Spiritual Savior they wanted, but an earthly king.
And what about the 12 disciples; those 12 men who had walked with Jesus and helped him to distribute the bread and the fish; what were they thinking? I can’t help but believe that they were caught up in the excitement of the moment just like the rest of the Jews. I believe that they had joined in the shout and wanted Jesus to sieze the moment and become the Messiah and King of Israel, and lead the Jews in a revolt to throw cast off the Roman control of Israel.
Because of their carnal thinking, Jesus knew that the crowds were going to try press him into action but this was not his purpose in coming to the earth so he had to stop them. He began to try to disperse the crowd, sending them away; and then he began to get the disciples to forget the excitement of the moment and to move on for there was much left to do.
Matthew 14:22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
Matthew 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
It took some persuasion to get the disciples to leave. After all, they wanted a King too. They still hadn’t understood who Jesus really was or what his true purpose was. They were still looking for a Messiah, and desired Jesus to fulfill that role. Jesus finally convinced them to get into a boat. He “constrained” them; forced them; compelled them; probably physically pushing them and holding them back; restraining them and ordering them into the boat.