Summary: In the midst of the storms of life, Jesus will walk on the water of our problems and come to our rescue - if we will call on Him.
Jesus to the Rescue
• The “World English Dictionary” defines rescue in this way; ‘to bring someone or something out of danger, harm, or attack…and to deliver or save.” This story is about rescue on many levels.
• For several years I was a volunteer fireman, today my brother is a professional fireman and EMT. On more than one time, I have been privileged to rescue people from harm’s way. In January, 1976, my last call as a volunteer fireman in Cantonment was to a train derailment. The cars which had derailed contained chloride – whose gas can be fatal. We found one couple in bad shape less than a mile from the spill. We were able to evacuate them – and literally save them from danger.
• As an adult I can think of no one who was in any greater danger than me – and Jesus came to the rescue. When Jesus sees people in danger, He responds! In this simply story, watch His response.
• The storyline tells us all we need to know. Jesus sent His disciples to the other side of the lake. In fact, the text says, He “MADE” them get into the boat and go to the other side! Do you know why? Because that is where the gospel work is needed. That truth needs to burn into our hearts. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ, His disciples are task with the greatest assignment known to mankind. We have the divine task of finding people who need Christ, showing people the way, and bringing them to Him.
• Candidly, the church in America today (even us) seems to have lost our way when it comes to Christ’s divine assignment for us. It would appear that we have substituted many other good things, really good things, for THE MAIN THING. What has resulted is a church which has become something different than what Jesus had in mind. While Jesus has sent us out, to go to the other side, and perform His work – could it be that we now need “Jesus to come & rescue us?” He will.
1. A Personal Response – In verse 24-25 we discover the disciples doing what Jesus told them to do & going where He told them to go, BUT they were in trouble. Remember that, on the boat, was at least four professional fisherman – so they knew their way around boats and the water. But the text says, “They were beaten and blown about by the wind because the wind was against them.” The ‘Fourth watch’ was considered from 3am to 6am so we know that when they should have been resting, they were fighting the storm. What a picture of the church & Christ followers today!
• We are sent out by the very words of Jesus to do the work of Jesus and that work is to ‘seek and save those who are lost.’ Many times, when we are brave enough to go and do His will, we find ourselves in a storm. The winds of secularism beat at us and the waves of tradition blow against us, they even threaten to capsize our ship. It becomes unnerving, frightening, and discouraging.
• One of the amazing parts of this story is that it never mentions about ‘going back.’ This seems to be a common theme among God’s people. We start out for the Lord, we run into opposition, & then we make the unilateral decision to turn around and go back where we started. Don’t you wished you had a dime for every time the Children of Israel made that statement as they left the captivity of Egypt? It mattered not what would happen, but at the first sign of struggle they would respond, “It would have been better to be in Egypt” which, in essence said, “Leave us in bondage.”
• It is in the midst of the storm that Jesus came to the disciples. This was personal. He had sent them out there and was not going to leave them to fend for themselves. It is the same for us. When we chose to step out of our will & into His will, we may well experience opposition, but if we’ll stay the course, He’ll come to us. By the way, notice that the very thing which was the danger to the disciples, Jesus was walking on. The waves which was beating up the group, was the path Jesus used to walk to them. His response formed words of comfort, “It is I, don’t be afraid.” He said, “Take heart” which a southern translation is ‘Don’t lose heart, I’m coming to the rescue.”
2. A Powerful Response – Peter, being Peter (there’s one in every crowd), wanting to confirm & affirm that this was Jesus, said, “Okay – but ‘if it’s you’ – does that not sound just like us? It’s more like “Jesus, prove yourself! Do something that is humanly impossible.” Wouldn’t you say that ‘walking on water’ is beyond the human capability? Sometimes, when our faith is weak – we ask for a special sign to assure us – and this is exactly what Peter was doing. Now don’t miss this: Our Lord is not under any obligation to do this, but from time to time He does (like He did with Peter). I submit that Peter might have been a little surprised when Jesus simply said, “Come.” He didn’t tell Peter to watch his step, be careful about getting off the boat, or even take off your sandals – He simply said, “COME.” When I read this word, I am reminded of how simply our Lord’s call to us is. He says, “Come. Come, follow me.” Is that not exactly what Peter was doing? To follow someone means you walk where they walk. Jesus was walking on water – so….