Summary: Many people read the Bible and read of Bible characters and stand in awe of what they could do and how they could live. We must never forget that people like Peter, were real people, with real problems, simply living their faith.
Just about every kid has a period in their lives where they love superheroes. The kids idolize the superheroes ability to do the impossible, to fly, their incredible strength or their x-ray vision. When I was growing up, I loved superman. I wanted to be just like superman. I remember running around my house with my homemade cape, whenever I saw a phone booth I wanted to go in and change into a superman costume. Superheroes are again becoming popular. New movies are coming out all the time about the superheroes. They are so amazing because they can do such amazing things. A sad time for me came when I realized I could not be one of those superheroes, because it was impossible.
Sometimes I think that we read the Bible like we would read a comic book, or watch our favorite superheroes. We look at the amazing things that some of the folks did in the Bible and are amazed by them, we eve idolize their lives and their passion for God, but sometimes we see the people in the Bible as superheroes, whose super powers are impossible to match.
We read of some amazing things and some amazing people in the Bible. Sometimes it’s hard to grasp that these were real people who really lived, and not just made up stories. These people had real struggles and real problems in life. They didn’t have superpowers, they were not superheroes, they were just people like you and me putting their faith into practice. They were super people with super character, but they didn’t have special powers to live better lives or do fantastic things. They are examples for us for how to live our lives. When I read of people like Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, and Paul I envy some things about them. I envy the closeness they had with God. They had a special relationship with God; they had a constant communication with Him. I envy what they could accomplish for God. It was amazing how God can take these weak and imperfect individuals and do such amazing things through them that they could so greatly impact people. I envy their unswerving faith. As you read of the key people in the Bible we can see that many of them differ in personality and specific roles that they were raised up for, but one thing is always the same, they had a strong faith. They trusted God when it didn’t make sense, when it wasn’t popular and when things were not going their way. They are legends that we are talking about thousands of years later because of the kind of faith that they had. I hope today that many of us read through the Bible and sometimes think, “That’s the type of person that I want to be” or “that is the type of faith that I would like to have.”
The bottom line is that we can have that type of faith. Jesus promised that we would be able to have a faith that could move mountains. We can have that type of relationship with God today. Sometimes we are way too easily satisfied with mediocrity in our faith. We are satisfied with being a casual Christian in name only. We are satisfied with our lack of commitment, excitement, or zeal. We are sometimes content to be uninvolved or lukewarm. I hope today that you want more. Today I hope that you are not content where you are in your faith, I hope you want to be like some of the incredible people in the Bible and have a faith that can do amazing things.
One of my favorite characters in the Bible is the Apostle Peter. Peter was a man who was full of zeal for the Lord. When Jesus was on the mountain and was transfigured with Moses and Elijah it was Peter who wanted to stay and build shelters for all three of them. When Jesus told Peter he was going to be killed it was Peter who said he would die with him. It was Peter who assured Jesus that even if everyone else denied him he wouldn’t. It was Peter who drew his sword and cut off Malchus’ ear as the soldiers came to arrest Jesus. It was Peter who ran to see the empty tomb. It was Peter who left the boat and came to the resurrected Lord. People can fault Peter for some of his over zealous actions, but over all Peter had a heart for Jesus and is an example to us all of the excitement we should have in following Jesus.
Text: Matthew 14:22-33
I. Peter Always Was Zealous to Be With Jesus
Peter’s greatest desire was to be with Jesus in any way possible. In this account of Jesus walking on water, we see that the disciples are out to sea and there is a great storm that is around them. These disciples were experienced fishermen, so most likely they knew some things about boating, but it says that they were afraid. Then we learn that Jesus walks out on the water towards them. Peter then speaks up and says, “Lord, if it is you tell me to come to you on the water.” Peter wanted to get to Jesus. He wanted to get to Jesus so badly that the waves did not deter him from getting out of the boat; He knew he would be safe with Jesus near. Did you notice, that Peter didn’t say, “let me walk on the water like you, that’d be cool.”? He wanted to get to Jesus.