Summary: This is the second in a series based on Matthew 14:22-32
The Wind and The Waves
INTRODUCTION: A man was being chased by a tiger. He ran as hard as he could until he was at the edge of a cliff with the tiger in hot pursuit. The man looked over the edge of the cliff and saw a branch growing out of the side of the cliff a few feet down. He jumped down and grabbed the branch just as the tiger reached the cliff. The tiger growled viciously as the man sighed a great sigh of relief. Then, as he clung to that branch, it began to splinter and break. The man looked down to what was a drop of a thousand feet and sure death and looked to the heavens and yelled out, "Dear God, if you are there, please help. I will do anything you ask but please help." Suddenly a voice came booming down from heaven, "You will do anything I ask?" it questioned. The man shocked to hear a reply to his plea yelled back, "I will gladly do anything you ask, but please save me." The voice from heaven then replied, "There is one way to save you but it will take courage and faith." The branch began to weaken to the point of failure and the tiger was still growling a few feet above the man, "Please, Lord, tell me what I must do and I will do it. Your will is my will." The voice from heaven then said, "All right then, let go of the branch." The man looked down to a fall of a thousand feet and certain death. He looked up at the hungry tiger a few feet away and he looked at the breaking branch. Then he looked up at the heavens and yelled, "Is there anyone else up there?"
I. SEEING THE WIND
A. The storm on the Sea of Galilee was a bad one that night when the Apostles were sent to Bethsaida. The sea was churning, the wind was whipping about, the waves were threatening to swamp the boat. This is the scene in which Peter decided to walk on water.
1. He stepped out on the storm-tossed sea in faith at the Lord’s command. I am not sure just how he did it, maybe a leap, maybe with a tedious first step, but however he did it, he ended up walking on the water.
2. Everything was fine until he took his eyes off Jesus. He noticed the storm again. Peter saw the wind as it whipped the sea and tossed around the boat in which his friends were ridding. And when he did, he became afraid.
3. The storm shook him back to reality; he was out on the water in the middle of a squall. His mere mortal mind could not accept the fact that he was safer walking on the waves with Jesus than ridding in the boat with his fellow apostles. Fear overtook him, because he saw the wind and lost sight of Jesus.
B. Every life has its share of storms. As a matter of fact, life is full of storms. An angry wind often blows through our lives whipping us around like rag dolls. The question we must be concerned with is, "How much attention will we give the wind?"
1. One of Satan’s greatest tools is distraction. If he can avert our attention from Jesus for just one moment, he then has formed a kink in our armor, and a path into our lives to work his dirty deeds.
2. So he makes the wind howl and the storms blow with ferocity. He rattles our minds and shakes us at our foundation. The struggle is to stay focused on Jesus and to close our eyes to the wind.
a. Isaiah 45:22, "Look to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is not other!"
b. Acts 2:25, "I beheld the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
c. Hebrews 12:1,2
C. Peter saw the wind, and it made him afraid. He took his eyes off Jesus, he lost his bearing in the rough waves of the storm tossed sea and when he did, his faith suffered. When the wind blows and the storm rages keep yourself focused on Jesus.
II. SINKING IN THE WAVES
A. Very few things are more fearful than the thought of drowning. The smothering embrace of the water, the helplessness as one sinks below the surface, the futile struggle to grasp something solid. This is what Peter felt as his seeing the wind lead to his sinking in the waves.
1. There is no horror like death in a storm-tossed sea, and Peter undoubtedly knew that. He was a seasoned fisherman, had for all practical purposes lived on the water, so he knew what the sea could do to a man, probably first hand.