Summary: The miracle of Jesus walking on the water is very well known by Christians of all ages and denominations, but let’s take a little different look at this section of scripture. Here we will find 3 areas to help us grow in our faith questions during our "sto

Love Lifted Me

Matthew 14:22-32

During the season of Lent, we usually focus on what we are giving up. For some it may be candy, or TV, or chocolate, for my 17 year old daughter it is sodas. But this year instead of giving something up, I am going to try to improve something, my workout routine. I have been meaning to get back into the routine of walking a few times every week, so this Lenten season my focus is improving my health a little more.

Lent, in itself, is a time of reflection, renewal, and rebirth of our spiritual selves. The idea of giving up something in our culture came from the aspect of fasting for the 40 days of Lent (excluding Sundays). The giving up is a form of self denial, a time that when you sacrifice something you enjoy, you can spend that time in reflection or meditation on what Jesus sacrificed for us, his life.

Lent is a journey, leading us to the Cross of Calvary on Easter Sunday. In our reading today, we are faced with one of the most common elements of our Christian heritage; FAITH. Are some people just blessed with more faith than others? Is faith a gift that is given by God more freely to some than to others? Is faith just something that you ‘get’, or do you have to ‘go get’ it? I have heard it said that faith is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. I also think that the opposite is true. The less you use it the weaker it becomes.

In that aspect of faith, I would like us to look at 3 areas from our scripture:

1. Jesus made His disciples go out onto the boat knowing that there was a storm coming

2. Peter had a little bit of faith, but not no faith

3. Peter waited for an answer after speaking to Jesus

1. Jesus made His disciples go out onto the boat knowing that there was a storm coming

The KJV reads “constrained”, other versions read “made” his disciples get on the boat and leave Him. The Greek word for to make someone do something is “anagkazo”, which literally means to necessitate. Jesus did not ask them if they wanted to get in the boat and leave Him, He did not ask if it was OK with them to get into this boat and leave Him, the Bible tells us that he made them go. It was necessary for them to leave Him and go out onto the Sea of Galilee without Him. I think they probably did not want to go, especially Peter, who was never at a loss for words, but Jesus compelled them to go.

Have you ever felt, “How did I get into this mess when I have been doing what God wanted me to do?” Or “Why is this happening to me when I have been doing what God wants me to do?” I know I have, and I bet the disciples thought the same thing that night when that storm began. “Why did Jesus send us out here?” I think many of them said. I mean, after all, surely Jesus knew that the storm was coming, right? Yet he sent His most loved and trusted followers out to face this storm alone. Why?

Our human perspective tells us that turmoil is bad and peace is good.

I Corinthians 14:33 tells us that “for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace”. So if God is a God of peace, why is there this turmoil? Why do we face these storms, seemingly without Jesus around? The answer is in that question.

A large part of the storms we face are because we are living in line with God, and Satan himself hates to see that and wants to bring the storms and pain to us to try to get us to alter our course.

It is easy to walk in faith when there are no waves, no storms, no riptides, no pain, no loss. But is that really a walk of faith?

II Corinthians 5:7 says that “we walk by faith, not by sight.”

The African Impala is an animal that can jump over 10 feet in the air and cover a distance of more than 30 feet. Yet these great jumpers can be contained in a zoo with only a 3 foot high wall because they will not jump where they can not see where their feet will land. They jump by sight, not by faith. We are called to walk by faith, not by sight.

This reminds me of a story I heard about 3 preachers who were all out fishing together. They had been sitting in their boat for hours, not catching much, when one of the preachers stood up and said that he could not wait any longer, he had to go to the restroom. So he laid down his pole, stepped out of the boat, and walked right across the water to the shore, then a few minutes later he returned the same way, walking right on top of the water. After he got back in the boat the second preacher said he really had to go too and he laid down his pole, got out of the boat, walked right on top of the water to the shore. Then, a few minutes later he returned the same way, walking right on top of the water. The third preacher thought that if these two others had enough faith to walk on top of the water that he did too, so he stepped out of the boat and sank right down into the water. The other two preachers in the boat looked at each other, then the first said, “I guess we should have told him where the rocks are.”

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