Summary: Scriptural Keys from Matthew 14 when Jesus walked on the sea
The Storms of Life and the Saviour that Brings Life
Scriptural Keys from Matthew 14
This particular day was a gruelling day for Jesus and his disciples. John the Baptist was just beheaded and as the news reached Jesus, he had hoped to immerse himself in private prayer but the multitude wanted his attention; he had to perform the miracle of feeding the five thousand with fish and loaves. The disciples had been ministering all day, they were tired, exhausted and frustrated, a short trip in the boat ended up taking over nine hours with the wind blowing against boat and the storm raging most of the night. What do you do at a time like this when there is frustration, tiredness and hopelessness? What do you do when the storms of life rage relentlessly against your health, your finances, and your children? Today, we will consider some scriptural keys from the events of Matthew 14, starting from verse 25:
Key #1 Seeking advice from fellow boat people may reverse your advance (v25-27)
Who are fellow boat people? Those mates you often turn to for advice are the fellow boat people. These are the people you quickly pick the phone to call, those with whom you have endless conversations about everything and about nothing. But the advice they give may not be the best. I am very certain that the Bible did not produce a full record of the words that was spoken in the conversation between the disciples and Peter, or between Peter and Jesus. John 21:25 says if all the activities of Christ were recorded, even the whole world would not contain them. Many if not of the other 11 disciples would have strongly advised Peter not to leave the boat, and even when he jumped into the water, others would be asking him to immediately retrace his steps, while some would have written him off as a suicide case.
The advice of fellow boat people will likely fall in one or more of the three categories below:
1) Those of mates, who like Joseph’s brothers, will put you down without giving you any chance of success
2) Those who will say nothing good can come out of you. Remember how Nathaniel dismissed Jesus when Phillip told him that they have found Jesus of Nazareth, the one Moses and the prophets talked about? Can anything good come out of Nazareth was Nathaniel’s derisive remark. That wasn’t too dissimilar to what people said about Albert Einstein when he was young. Einstein was born with an unusually large head that gave his mother considerable concern. She thought he was deformed. He was slow of speech, only able to speak coherently at the age of nine. He failed the university entrance examination, only passing maths and science, so he had to settle for trade school before eventually gaining admission into the university. Yet, this man that started off so poorly, this man that the world had written off propounded one of the ground breaking theories of all times, the theory of relativity.
3) The third category of advice from fellow boat people will be plain unintelligent advice; the sort of Counsel Job’s three friends gave him. Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar approached Job to mourn with him and to comfort him (Job 2:11) but later accused him of being a fool for trusting God. Eliphaz even accused him of spiritual arrogance: What do you know that we don’t know…what do you understand that is not in us? (Job 15: 9) Reliance on friends to protect, counsel, guide or direct you may lead you in the wrong direction.
Key # 2 Jesus’ Command is always accompanied by His compassion (v.28-29a)
There are two things that I will like to point out here:
1) Peter waited for the Lord’s say so before jumping out of the boat, the same way David enquired from God whether he could pursue the Amalekites before going after them. (1 Sam 30) Peter attempted the impossible only after the Lord told him so (v28). That is why the Bible says in all your ways ask him and he will make your paths straight. (Pro 3:6) Lean not on your own understanding. (Pro 3:5) In other words, do not attempt the impossible in your strength.
2) Peter walked on water towards Jesus not in any other direction. What do you think may have happened if he had walked away from him, going in the opposite direction or if he had tried to take another route to reach Jesus? Simple, he would have gone under! What do we do when life’s thunderstorms and hurricanes start to billow, do we walk towards Jesus or do we withdraw from fellowshipping with the saints, blame God and turn our back to him? Do we turn our personal challenges into a weapon against God, and begin to doubt him and begin to question his love and his ways? If Jesus says come, his compassion is already available to you to fulfil his command.