Summary: This sermon is to encourage and help everyone that is going through very trying times.
v.23 - Jesus had gone alone into the mountain to pray after being with a great multitude of people (5000 men not including all of the women and children). Public prayer is good at times but the most intimate prayer is the one you have with God when you are alone. We all need to have time with God in prayer alone. This is how we communicate with God. Every born again believer should set aside some private time for prayer. Jesus had sent his disciples by ship on ahead (v.22).
v.24 - A great wind came and began to toss the ship that the disciples were in. They were alone. Sometimes troubles in life are like storms that come suddenly. They began to toss us from side to side. Not knowing when the storm will end, we may begin to panic and wonder what to do. Sometimes we have irrational behavior. We begin to think at times, that maybe the Lord sent us out in the midst of the storm and left us alone.
v.25 - During the fourth watch Jesus went to the disciples. He went to his disciples right in the midst of the storm. Jesus went to his disciples at a time when it seemed unlikely. This happens to be the way it seems to happen with us at times. He knows when we are in troubled water. He knows just how to handle the situation.
v.26 - The disciples, when they saw him they were troubled, because they thought they saw a ghost or a spirit. This was probably not uncommon because many of the disciples were fishermen and had more than likely heard of ghosts in the midst of the sea. They weren’t expecting Jesus. They were expecting more trouble. Isn’t this the way that we are many times? We look at our trouble so much that we forget about the Lord coming to rescue us. We’ll look at everything and listen to everyone else and believe almost anything instead of trusting in the Lord.
v27. - Jesus told the disciples to be of good cheer. He told them that it was Him and not to be afraid. Many times the Lord told us that he would help us and that he would never forsake us. It’s just that sometimes we don’t trust Him enough to recognize it when He does begin to help us.
v28. - Still it seems they may have been afraid. Peter told the Lord that if it was he, to bid him to come to him on the water and Jesus told Him to come. This shows that Peter had a little faith. He believed that Jesus could do anything and that if it was really Him that it would be no problem to walk on water. Sometimes we are the same, we say we believe that the Lord can do anything even to the point where we will make a statement as bold as Peter’s. Saying that if it is the Lord’s will, I can do such and such.
v29. - The bible teaches faith without works is dead (James 2:26). Peter put his faith in Jesus to work. He got out of the boat and stepped out on the water in faith. Peter began to walk on water. Jesus said that if we have the faith of a mustard seed that we can move mountains (Matthew 17:20).
v30-32. - Peter then began to look around at the storm and how great it was. Peter then began to sink. We often look at how great the problems we have are and even though we know that Jesus is with us we take our eyes off of Him just like Peter did and begin to sink. Peter did realize that he was sinking and cried out to the Lord and when he got his eyes back on the Lord He was rescued from sinking. Remember to keep your eyes on Jesus especially during the turmoil or troubles of this life. If you feel like you are sinking, don’t go to a neighbor or to a relative or to a friend, you need to go to Jesus. Call out to Him. Remember He is in the midst of our storm. Truly, in order to keep our heads above water, we have to keep our eyes on the Lord. Jesus stretched out His hand and saved Peter. His hand is stretched out to us. After Peter accepted the Lord’s help, they entered into the ship safely. Not only did Jesus save Peter during the midst of the storm, but he also calmed the storm.