Summary: 3rd of 7 about Simon’s transformation into Peter. From ordinary to extraordinary. How Simon the fisherman became Peter the rock. It began with amazement and then became obedience - which is just the beginning of faity. Only the beginning.
We’ve been talking about Simon’s transformation into Peter. From ordinary to extraordinary. How Simon the fisherman became Peter the rock. It began with amazement and then became obedience - which is just the beginning of faity. Only the beginning.
Many people misunderstood what faith is. They think faith is some kind of power or force and if they have enough faith, God will do whatever they ask Him.
So when a crisis comes up, they try to move God into action with their faith. When an emergency comes up, they push the faith button and wait for God to jump into action. And when He doesn’t respond, they’re disappointed. They feel like God let them down. Some stop praying. Some stop reading the Bible. And some even stop coming to church.
But what these people do not realize is that we have a promise from God to hang your faith on. Faith is confidence that God will do whatever He has promised...which leads us to the occasion when Simon walked on water. You’ll find the story recorded in Matthew 14:25-31.
25 Between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the water. 26 When his followers saw him walking on the water, they were afraid. They said, “It’s a ghost!” and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus quickly spoke to them, “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”
28 Peter said, “Lord, if it is really you, then command me to come to you on the water.”
29 Jesus said, “Come.”
And Peter left the boat and walked on the water to Jesus. 30 But when Peter saw the wind and the waves, he became afraid and began to sink. He shouted, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. Jesus said, “Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?”
A convict can be obedient without having trust. A prisoner of war is submissive and distrusting at the same time. An employee can be both obedient and defiant with the same words.
Obedience is simply the first step. It is the initial flirtation with faith. Obedience is one note. Faith is a concert.
It’s one thing to say you follow Jesus – it’s another to follow Jesus when he says, “come”. One word. One word. Not a theological argument, not a long message or a well honed inspirational speech. Just, “come”.
If there is ever a story that captures the essence of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus it is this story. If there is a word that captures the heart of the expectation of Jesus toward me – toward you – it is “come”.
Simon got out of the boat. A popular author has written so very well on this subject saying if you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat.
Matthew didn’t get out of the boat. Judas stayed glued to his seat. Doubting Thomas was probably saying, “Simon, get your self back in this boat – I’m not jumping in to save you when you start sinking!
Simon climbed out of the boat. He followed after Jesus and what he went through next is what every Christian experiences in the whole of a lifetime of following Jesus.
We find ourselves – like Simon – in the stormy waters of everyday life. All around us are the winds of disappointment, the waves of fear, and the torrential downpours of defeat. It comes in the form of divorce papers, a pink slip, a “Dear John” letter, or a thousand other ways of getting hit in the gut.
What Simon experienced in his walk across the water...
He enjoyed success
Simon was walking on the water! He was winning over all the elements against him – gravity, the forces of the storm, the inner fears. He was walking on the water. Pure exhilaration!
Everyone who has “come” to Jesus has experienced success. You can’t really even tell someone else about it. How do you describe the clean and wonderful feeling of coming up from the waters of baptism? How do you relate to someone the calming presence of God’s spirit when you pray for his strength? How do you tell about the power of God rushing through you when you are used by Him to help build His kingdom here on earth?
But it doesn’t last. The enemy always comes to cast the seeds of doubt, fear, and weariness. Elijah defeated 450 prophets of Baal and fell into a deep depression. David conquered the enemies of Israel and fell into the sin of adultery and murder. Simon walked on water and then began to sink.
He endured failure.
We all fail in the attempt to follow Jesus. Certainly we learn from this story that the failure rests in one simple mistake. He looked away from the source of the power and saw the wind and the waves.