Summary: Exposition of Trust
Text: Matt 14:22-33, Title: When Doubt Replaces Trust, Date/Place: NRBC, 1/6/13, AM
A. Opening illustration: "May God grant his true servants grace to await life-revolutionizing conversion power
as their desired goal! May churches pray till the earth is swept with powerful preaching of the Word that
searches men, breaks hard hearts, and carries with it the Spirit of regeneration, repentance, and faith! Let us
petition the sovereign throne of our holy Lord until we receive from him those most magnificent works of the
Spirit - the bowing of hearts to his Lordship, the renovation of character, and that turning of the world upside
down which savors of the abundant fruits of the Spirit!" -Walt Chantry
B. Background to passage: Coming off of a large section of teaching in chapter thirteen, Matthew clues us in
on Jesus’s cousin John the Baptist’s murder and Jesus’ travel through and rejection in his hometown. Then
comes the account of the feeding of the 5000. So the disciples just witnessed Jesus take five loaves and two
fish and feed a multitude. The main point of these miracles is to convince the disciples of the deity of Christ.
But when the crowd wanted to take Jesus and make him king on the spot, He sent the disciples out of the
C. Main thought: I want to spur us on to a robust, vibrant, visionary, real-life faith and walk with God.
A. Obedient Faith (v. 22)
1. The baseline faith is obedience. That is what you do when you follow a rabbi. Their job was to walk as
closely as they could to their chosen rabbi. And this is what the disciples were doing in this first verse—
Jesus told them to do something, and they immediately went and did it. The language insinuates that this
was something that they had to be forced to do; not as though they were unwilling, just that they would
have rather been with the king when He was crowned. This gives more force to their leaving as instructed.
This sheer obedience is coupled by a trust in the goodness of the One giving the commands, and goodness
of the purposes of the commands.
2. Story of Abraham or Noah or Gideon
3. Illustration: a large number of Roman Catholics believe that you can disagree with the pope and still be a
good catholic, one writer spoke of it the other day like he awaits a clear instruction of lifting his right ring
finger, and when he gets it, he doesn’t ask why, but just lifts. "The place of security is not (necessarily)
the place of favorable circumstance, but the place of obedience to God's will." –MacArthur, SO gets calls
from parents/grandparents whose children refuse to go to school. Some say that once they are that age,
you have lost them. But Uncle Sam can bring a child in line after a few weeks of boot camp. You cannot
stay in the army and continually disobey your superiors.
4. We must start here. When doubt replaces trust, we don’t do what we are told. The question is whether we
will submit to a master. The prerequisite to this occurring is God’s graciously working in our lives that
we might see the need for and the appropriateness of submission to this master. And as well as a decision
that we make in the moment, it is a decision that we make beforehand. This precludes rationalization of
disobedience. We all look for ways out of things that we don’t really want to do. Most of us could use
a lesson or a reminder of absolute obedience. If you were convinced of the leading of the Holy Spirit
to begin a ministry, would you begin to make preparations? If the Spirit tells you to give, do you get
out your wallet? Satan is usually there to help us rationalize why we shouldn’t. We must resist him by
practicing immediate obedience. The scriptures give us commands that we fail to practice regularly. We
must recommit to obedience.
B. Vulnerable Faith (v. 28)
1. This is a faith that is based on knowledge and expectation of God. MacArthur calls it an “act of affection
built on confident faith.” This is also an indication of the safety that the disciples felt around Jesus,
and a possible reason that they might have been reluctant to venture into the sea without him. Peter
believed to be walking in the water during a raging storm was safer than being in a boat with several other
experienced mariners and fishermen. Can you put yourself in that scenario? And that Peter initiated the
2. Acts 21:39,
3. Illustration: the value of a pearl, “ Better to love God and die unknown than to love the world and be a
hero; better to be content with poverty than to die a slave to wealth; better to have taken some risks and