Faith to walk on water

I am so excited to prepare this lesson for our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church because, we are officially meeting in person again on site at the church!!! Last week was our first official, in person meeting of our Connect Groups since March. For the past five and a half months, we have been meeting via video chat. Praise God for technology and the ability to continue to study the Word together but, there is nothing like an in person, face to face Bible study.

This week, we are going to continue walking through the Gospels, looking at the life and ministry of Jesus. Our passage this week is the Gospel of Matthew, chapter fourteen.

All of us fight a daily battle of choosing faith over our fears. Some days we are more successful than others. Why do we have to fight this battle? It is because fear and faith cannot coexist in the same space. Surrendering to one automatically drives out the other. We are not alone in our battle. The original twelve disciples faced the same battle on a daily basis, the same battle that we face today.

In the first fourteen verses, we discover the persecution and murder of John the Baptist. These are two events that would lead anyone to fear. Christ’s disciples were aware of these events as well as Jesus, Himself. Verses fifteen through twenty-one tell the story of how Jesus fed the five-thousand. This was a miracle. This event would have been a demonstration of faith for the disciples to see and embrace. So, the first two sections of this chapter deal with fear and faith. Now, the exam begins for the disciples. They have a practical assignment. Are they going to surrender to faith or fear in the midst of a difficult life circumstance? Let’s find out.

I. Prayer is vital

This section of the chapter reveals just how vital prayer was to Jesus and should be to His disciples.

22 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.

Matthew 14

Jesus sent the crowds and His disciples away so that He could spend time alone in prayer with God. This is after Jesus had spent most of the day preaching and teaching the Word of God. I am sure that He was exhausted. I am sure that He just wanted to kick up His feet and relax after such a taxing day. But, instead, He went to spend time alone with God in prayer. Prayer was vital to Jesus Christ. He made time for it. Do you?

II. Storms are inevitable

In order to be alone with God, Jesus sent the disciples out in a boat to go to the other side of the sea. Things started off in the right direction for the disciples, but, like all things in life, difficulties arose. What were the disciples going to do? Were they going to go to the Lord in prayer and ask for help? Were they going to surrender to their fear and forget all about the teachings on faith?

24 But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.

Matthew 14

As you can see in the above mentioned verses, the disciples had completely surrendered to their fear. They forgot about faith. They forgot about prayer. They were crying out in their fear and jumping at shadows.

III. God’s Word calms us

Jesus does not allow fear to overcome the disciples. He intervenes at the right time with the power of His Word.

27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Matthew 14

Jesus takes action immediately. He encourages the disciples to take courage and not surrender to fear. The Word of God reminds us of faith and that we need to surrender to faith and not to fear. That changes everything! Where do you turn when circumstances turn bad? Do you forget about faith and surrender to your fears? Or, do you turn to the Word of God which reminds you of faith and the need to surrender to it instead of fear? Jesus’ intervention works.

28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

Matthew 14

Peter remembers faith and surrenders.

IV. Choose faith over fear

Peter chooses faith over fear.

29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

Matthew 14

Peter takes action based on faith. He steps out of the comfort of the boat and begins to walk to Jesus. As long as his eyes are on Jesus, Peter is able to walk on the water. Peter’s faith is strengthened. Surrendering to faith causes us to keep our eyes on Jesus. When we walk with our eyes on Jesus, we are victorious over any and every circumstance that life can throw our way. Now we see that Peter makes a mistake.

30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Matthew 14

Did you notice what Peter’s mistake was? He took his eyes off of Jesus and began to look at the storm, the unfavorable circumstances around him. Immediately, he forgot about faith and surrendered to fear. What were the results? Peter began to sink because of fear. Peter did come to his senses and cry out to Jesus for salvation. Are you drowning in the circumstances of life? What are you going to do about it? Cry out to Jesus! Watch what happens when Peter cries out to Jesus.

31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.

Matthew 14

Jesus immediately intervened and rescued Peter. He can do the same for you today. All you have to do is cry out to Him in the depths of your despair. Once Jesus carried Peter back to the boat, the storm abated. What are the results of remembering faith and crying out to Jesus?

33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”

Matthew 14

What happens when we cry out to Jesus in faith and He rescues us? We begin to worship Him as God in the flesh. This was the reaction and confession of the disciples. Do you believe that Jesus is God in the flesh? Have you chosen to worship Jesus in the midst of the storm? What are you clinging to when everything is falling apart?

May the Lord help us remember faith and cry out to Jesus for salvation!

2 comments on “Faith to walk on water

  1. Pingback: The Transfiguration | Erik and Elena Brewer's Weblog

  2. Pingback: Jesus on the Cross: Our Forgiveness made possible | Erik and Elena Brewer's Weblog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s