Summary: The Frightened Fisherman (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: Matthew chapter 14 verses 22-36:


• Story about a farmer who wanted to impress his hunting buddies.

• So he went out and bought the smartest, most expensive hunting dog he could find.

• He trained this dog to do things no other dog on earth could do,

• Impossible feats that would surely amaze anyone.

Then he invited his neighbours to go duck hunting with him:

• After a long patient wait in the boat;

• A group of ducks flew over the boat,

• And the hunters were able to shoot a few of them down.

• Several ducks fell in the water.

• The farmer looked at the dog and said, "Go get ‘em!"

• The dog leaped out of the boat, walked on the water,

• And 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;

• Once again the dog brought it back to the boat.

• The owner kind of swelled up with pride,

• As he watched his dog going back and forward;

• Walked across the water and one by one retrieving each of the birds.

• Kind of smugly, he looked at one of his friends and asked,

• "Do you notice anything unusual about my dog?”

One of them sat back, rubbed his chin and thought about it for a little while and finally said;

“Yeah, come to think of it, I do!

That stupid dog doesn’t know how to swim does he?”

Many Christians give Peter the same reaction.

• Instead of recognizing that he was the only disciple who even stepped out of the boat,

• He’s criticized for his lack of faith.

• Remember it was him alone that draws close to Christ,

• The 11 other disciples sit in the boat, content in their perceived safety.

Quote: Cadeiro’s book – Dream Releasers:

“The richest place on the earth is not the diamond mines of South Africa or the gold caches of Ecuador. It is not the oil fields of Saudi Arabia, or in the uranium excavations of the Balkans. Neither is it in the mineral deposits of the Dead Sea.

No, the richest plot of land on this planet is in your very own neighbourhood. You might even have passed by it this day.

It’s the cemetery.

That’s right! The graveyard is the wealthiest place in all of creation. Beneath those rectangular pieces of sod lie countless unsung melodies and unwritten poems. The grassy plots overflow with brilliant ideas that could have transformed entire communities, rehabilitated the lost and borne hope to the weary. Our burial grounds reek with unattained successes and unrealised dreams.”

• These are things that could have been done;

• But couldn’t because people couldn’t bring their dreams to realization.

FIVE key THINGS from this story

(1). God Has A Plan For Me And Its Good (vs 22)

“As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people”.

The disciples had just been involved in some emotional, intensive situations:

• They experienced a major low;

• When they had to deal with the murder of John the Baptist.

• Then they experienced a major high;

• They were to feed 5,000 people and the only food they had was five loaves and two fish.

• That high then turned to another low;

• They had to escape the crowds.

• They wanted to make Jesus king.

• But the time was not right.


• Following Jesus was like riding an emotional roller-coaster;

• It was full of highs and lows, good times and difficult circumstances.

The disciples were learning an important lesson:

• They were not guided by circumstances alone,

• But by Jesus.


• They were not like a boat drifting on the open water, carried here and there,

• They had a Cox-man steering and guiding their way.


• A group of scientists and botanists were exploring remote regions of the Alps;

• Looking for new species of flowers.

• One day they noticed through binoculars a flower of such rarity and beauty;

• That its value to science was incalculable.

• But it lay deep in a ravine with cliffs on both sides.

• To get the flower someone had to be lowered over the cliff on a rope.

No one wanted to volunteer:

• Then they noticed a teenage lad;

• Who had been watching these scientists and botanists strange behaviour.

• They told him they would pay him well;

• If he would agree to be lowered over the cliff to retrieve the flower below.

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