That Sinking Feeling
Contributed by Matthew Kratz on Mar 27, 2020 (message contributor)
Summary: Followers of Jesus can have hope though His divine 1) Authority (Matthew 14:22–23), 2) Knowledge (Matthew 14:24–25), 3) Protection (Matthew 14:26–27), 4) Love (Matthew 14:28-31), and divine 5) Power (Matthew 14:32-33).
Matthew 14:22-33  Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.  And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,  but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.  And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.  But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid."  And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."  He said, "Come." So, Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me."  Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"  And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." (ESV)
This week, New York City EMS is receiving 6,406 medical 911 calls (a day). It was the highest volume ever recorded in the city, surpassing the record that had been set on Sept. 11, 2001. (https://twitter.com/jameshohmann/status/1243353649570603008). Reflecting on that event, in his article, "Ten Years Later", R.C. Sproul said: "A full decade has passed since America suffered the tragedy of 9/11. Ten years ago, I repeatedly heard the question raised: “Where was God in all of this? Where was God on 9/11 when the planes crashed into the twin towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania?” My answer then was the same as it is now: God was in the precise place on 9/11 that He was on the day before and the day after. He was on His throne then and continues to be on His throne now because He is the Lord God omnipotent who reigns. He reigns day in and day out in consistent manifestation of His immutable sovereignty. God is immutable, unchanging, even though people and cultures continually change". (http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/ten-years-later-2/)
At a time like this, of social distancing, fear and virus, we don't feel like God loves us. We feel like He has abandoned us. In Matthew 14, we see a storm raging on the sea of Galilee, and the disciples feel abandoned by Jesus, but Peter obeys Christ who was within his reach. He takes a step of obedience. That step meant leaving the apparent safety of the boat, and taking a step of obedience.
Within the events of Matthew 14:22–33 are five demonstrations, or proofs, of Jesus’ deity that gave the disciples’ and should give us hope in the midst of the storm. Followers of Jesus can have hope though His divine 1) Authority (Matthew 14:22–23), 2) Knowledge (Matthew 14:24–25), 3) Protection (Matthew 14:26–27), 4) Love (Matthew 14:28-31), and divine 5) Power (Matthew 14:32-33).
Followers of Jesus can have:
1) Hope Through His Divine Authority (Matthew 14:22–23)
Matthew 14:22-23  Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.  And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, (ESV)
Jesus demonstrated His divine authority over the multitudes, who, despite their great numbers (probably twenty-five thousand or more), could not make Jesus do anything contrary to His Father’s plan and will. After He sent the disciples on their way to Capernaum, He dismissed the crowds/sent the multitudes away as well. John 6:15: notes that the people “were about to come and take him by force that they might make him king.” Jesus, whose kingdom is spiritual, refuses to become involved in any such definitely earthly, Jewish, political scheme. To prevent that from happening, Jesus “withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone” (Jn. 6:15b). He was indeed the predicted King, but He would not establish His earthly kingdom at that time. In any case, it was not the crowd’s prerogative to crown Him. (Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Vol. 9: New Testament commentary: Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew. New Testament Commentary (598). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.).
Please turn to Matthew 28
There is a tendency during momentous times to turn the events for political gain: 9/11 being a prime example. The Kingdom of God is not a political endeavor. We will not achieve the Kingdom through elections. God's righteousness is of the heart and it is the Church's job to proclaim the Kingdom.The proclamation of the Gospel in the Great Commission is the proclamation of Jesus authority: