Summary: Sermon on Life of Peter
Charles Swindoll, in his book "Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back," tells the story of a farmer who wanted to impress his hunting buddies. So, he bought the smartest, most expensive hunting dog he could find and he trained this dog to do things no other dog on earth could do---impossible things that would surely amaze anyone. Then he invited his buddies to go duck hunting with him. After a while a group of ducks flew over and the hunters were able to make a few hits. Several ducks fell in the water and the proud owner shouted to his magnificent dog, "Go get ‘em!" The dog leapt out of the boat, walked on the water, picked up a bird and returned to the boat. As soon as he dropped the duck in the boat he trotted off across the water again and grabbed another duck and brought it back to the boat. The owner beamed with pride as his wonderful dog walked across the water and retrieved each of the birds one by one. Unable to resist the opportunity to brag a little he asked his buddies, "Do you notice anything unusual about my dog?" One of them rubbed his chin and said, "Yes. Come to think of it, I do! That silly dog doesn’t know how to swim does he??"
Most of us are familiar with story of Peter walking on the water out to Jesus, and then sinking, but many people give Peter the same reaction. Instead of recognizing that he was the only disciple to have the faith to even step out of the boat, he is criticized for his lack of faith when he sank in the waves. But in reality, he was the only one with enough faith to go to Christ.
Today we are going to look another lesson from Peter, this will be lesson 2. We are going to look at what Peter did right as well as what Peter did wrong.
Please turn with me to Matt. 14:22-33, that is page 847 in your pew Bibles. There we are told of the event of Peter walking on water, with the Lord Jesus.
“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God."
I want to go through this verse noting some things, then I want to give you three lessons that I believe we can learn from Peter’s experience.
One of the things we will notice about Peter throughout these sermons is that he is an impulsive guy. Many times that impulsiveness gets him in trouble as we shall see. But God uses Peter’s impulsiveness to show us many lessons as we see in our verse today.
Our passage begin with the disciples getting into a boat to go before Jesus. Right before this we see that Jesus as just fed 5000 plus people with five loaves and two fish. In the account of this story in the gospel of John we see that the masses were about to take Jesus by force and make him king.
Knowing that it is not His time, the Bible states that Jesus “makes” his disciples get into the boat. The Greek word there is a strong one, and it indicates that Jesus basically forced His disciples to get into the boat. This was most likely due to the fact that they wanted to make Jesus king and His disciples, not understanding the true reason Jesus had come, that was to die for our sins, probably thought that it was a good idea for Jesus to be king.