Summary: How do I... we... walk on water? When can we walk on water? What is it about: faith or obedience? Is God calling ME to WALK in some area?

Jesus’ call to walk on water. Matt 14:22-36 WBC 20/11/05am

I want to speak to you about Walking on Water this morning

o as a follow on from- last Sunday, Wed pm

o because I’ve been so challenged by Ortbergs’ book

o Interrupt me and illustrate! PLEASE

But first:

"extreme Olympics risk.pps" in Ills to keep folder PPT

Olympic sports with an extra element of risk added!

cat and fan.wmv cat caught on fan PPT


Here’s the situation:

- feeding of 5000. Jesus sends across to other side of lake (probably with some bread!)

- storm blows up. But this is a bad one. By 3am have given up all thoughts of ’reaching the other side’. They just want to survive

o they are straining at the oars (Mk 6:48)

o 3.5 miles from land (Jn 6:19)

o lit "tormented by the waves" (Mt, v24)

This is no fun. Can you imagine? Relate to this?

- when you’re hit by numerous waves (can’t get a breather)

- worse still: Jesus is the one who told you to do it

- (Cf "don’t you care if we die?! Mt 8:23)

But Jesus is not just a fluffy pillow! He is THE teacher, as well

- and He has some lessons for them to learn

- Mk 6 - He was watching them

And at 3 am He walks out to them

They freak out! "Why?"- you may ask. "Who else could it be?"

- well, you see, they hadn’t read the script. Didn’t know

- and when you’re frightened- you imagine the worst, eh?!

Well- Matthew makes a point in recording it

- you can miss Jesus’ presence in the storm if you

o don’t look for it… take time

o aren’t looking with the eyes of faith!

o If YOU’RE not looking- you could miss Him

" Be left with the impression you are (or WERE) all alone. "God called me to a task and then left me"

- And He could even ’pass you by’

That’s the term it uses in Mk’s gospel "He was about to pass them by"

- what’s this?! Just leave them

Nope: He sent them. "He who began a good work in them…". The storm had their attention

- now it was time for them to learn who was really in control.. and something very specific about Jesus

"According to the Holy Scriptures, human extremity is the frequent meeting place with God" Dale Brunner in Ortberg’s "If you want to walk on water you have got to get out of the boat"

What’s this ’passing them by’, bit? Well- this is in Greek. It’s paraerchomai. This word appears in the OT’s Gk translation (Lxx) as well

- EX 33:18 Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory."

EX 33:19 And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you (paraerchomai), and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."

- It’s in the context of Moses’ call

- Elijah’s too. 1KI 19:11 The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by."

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

The contexts of both are THEOPHANY (appearance of God), calling and (in response to that call) miracles and power

- not unlike here. 22:36 (in Mt, Mk & Jn. Striking!)

And just like

- only God provides food in the desert, (Ex 16:8 (You will know it’s the Lord when He gives you… all the bread you want))

- only God JOB 9:8 ..alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea."

- And here God ’passes by’ Paraerchomai’s

These are the lessons: He’s showing His divine nature

They are going to see the divine saviour. (if they have the eyes of faith)


But it’s even more of a lesson for Peter- and water-walker

- "if it’s you- tell me to come to you on the water"

Why does he ask this? Mt record it? Why isn’t he just jumping in like in Jn 21

- well: there’s a terminal storm for one thing

- but the main thing is: you don’t just step out and walk on water

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