Summary: I wonder then, what do we think Jesus does? Who do we think he is? Is he someone that we come to only when there are problems, or do we check in with him everyday regardless of how life is treating us. I believe that we all need to come to terms with the
What Difference Does Jesus Make
All passages marked NIV: The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
All passages marked KJV: The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Good Morning, I am happy to be able to preach this morning. I always look forward to these times where we can open God’s word together.
I always appreciate Ralph allowing to stand up a speak.
This morning, I want to talk a few moments about a very important question that we all must ask. This is the question; “What difference does Jesus make?”
When new people come to my unit, I am always happy to spend a couple of minutes introducing myself to them. Many times I will ask, what do you think the Chaplain does. The common answer I get, and I expect it, is the I am the person to come to when they have problems.
And I hope that they will come to me when they have problems, but I encourage them to come talk to me when they have successes as well, or just to come by and talk.
I wonder then, what do we think Jesus does? Who do we think he is? Is he someone that we come to only when there are problems, or do we check in with him everyday regardless of how life is treating us.
I believe that we all need to come to terms with the question; “What difference does Jesus make?”
I want you to turn the page of your Bible to Matthew 14:22-33, which is found on page___________ in the pew Bibles in front of you.
We find in this passage the miraculous story of Jesus walking on water.
Many times, we look at this passage simply to stand in awe of the miracle, but I want us to take the story a step further and see the difference that Jesus makes in this story.
Verse 22 begins the story:
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. (Mt 14:22-26, NIV)
Here we find the disciples in a boat waiting to travel. Jesus sends the disciples on their way.
Jesus walks to the hillside to pray. The disciples never thought anything of this because the Bible makes it plain that this was a routine event for Jesus to step away for prayer.
During the time the disciples were on the water, a wind built up and the little boat was being pushed farther out in the sea.
When Jesus had completed His prayers, he went to them. He walked out on the water to be with his disciples.
The disciples were afraid at first.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (Mt 14:27-29, NIV)
The difference that Jesus makes on the water is that
1. With Jesus there is Confidence.
Peter is confident in the ability to walk on water. So, Peter steps out of the boat and walks to Jesus. With Jesus we have confidence to do “all things through Christ who strengthens us.”
Many times we focus on one of two things: the miracle of Jesus walking on the water or Peter’s sinking. But, we have to give Peter some credit. He did walk out to meet Jesus. This took an incredible amount of courage and faith. This is the confidence that Peter had in Christ.
This confidence wasn’t empty confidence. This confidence was based on the experiences that Peter had seeing Christ do miracles day after day.
One of my favorite Bible passages is John 6. The followers began to leave Jesus after his explanation that he is the Bread of Life.
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. (Jn. 6:66-68)