Rescued from Doubt

Matt 14:22-33

SS Lesson for 06/27/2021

 

Devotional Scripture: James 1:6-8

Lesson Background and Key Verse

Background from the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary

Matthew, Mark, and John place the account of todayís text (absent from Luke) after the account of the feeding of the 5,000. (Mark 6:45-52 and John 6:16-21 are the parallel accounts of todayís text.) That event had astonished and excited the large crowd of followers, not just because it was a great miracle but because it reminded them of Godís miraculous provision of food in the wilderness during the exodus from Egypt in Mosesí time (Exodus 16). Knowing that the prophets promised a coming deliverance like the exodus (Isaiah 40:1-5), the crowdís wonder and excitement were on the rise. Jesus took steps to quiet this enthusiasm. Yes, he was indeed the true king promised by God, the one who would bring freedom to Godís people as God did in the exodus. But how he became king, how he freed people, was yet to come in his death and resurrection. Only then would any of his followers, be they members of the 12 or the crowds, be able to understand and respond to him with greater comprehension of the truth. Jesusí power was very much on display in that feeding, but so was the disciplesí limitation in their thinking (Matthew 14:15-17)óeven though it was by then the third year of Jesusí public ministry. The 12 disciples were witnesses to these events, which should have inspired confidence in Jesus. Their challenge was to respond to disappointment, opposition, and danger with faith in Jesus, knowing that his power could overcome every difficulty. But each new threat presented a new occasion to question whether Jesus was worthy of their trust. Our lesson is set on the Sea of Galilee. In 1986, the remains of a boat from the time of Jesus were discovered buried in the mud near the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Excavated and now on display, the boat is probably typical for the time. It measures 27 feet in length and 7.5 feet at its widest point. It could have been propelled with oars, a sail, or both. Such boats were quite safe when the weather was fine. But storms can arise quickly on this lake. Because its western coastline features steep hills, a storm blowing in from that direction, from the Mediterranean Sea, might be seen by boaters only when it is nearly upon them. A small boat hit by high winds is in a perilous condition, even on such a small lake.

 

Key Verse: Matthew 14:31

And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

 

Commentary from the Bible Knowledge Commentary

14:1-12. As the news concerning Jesus and His mighty works spread, Herod heard about Jesus and His miraculous powers. This was Herod Antipas, who ruled over a fourth of Palestine (hence the title the tetrarch), including Galilee and Perea. He ruled from 4 b.c. to a.d. 39. His father Herod the Great had killed the Bethlehem babies (2:16). Herod Antipas judged Jesus when He was on trial (Luke 23:7-12). Herod concluded that Jesus was John the Baptist... risen from the dead (cf. Luke 9:7). Matthewís last reference to John the Baptist was Johnís sending messengers to Jesus to inquire about Him (Matt. 11:2-14). The story concerning John was now completed by Matthew. Herod Antipas had arrested John... because of Herodias. John had publicly condemned Herod, who was living with Herodias, his sister-in-law. She was his brother Philipís wife so this was an immoral relationship. Herod Antipas wanted to execute John but was fearful, for the people loved John and thought him to be a prophet. Therefore he only removed John from the public by placing him in prison. But at a birthday celebration Salome, Herodiasí daughter... danced. She so delighted Herod that he foolishly promised her anything she wanted. Her request, Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist, was not her idea, for she was prompted by her mother Herodias. Though this request greatly distressed (lypētheis means to be grieved or sad to the point of distress; cf. 18:31; 19:22) Herod, he was caught in a trap for his oath was at stake (14:9). So he granted the wish and John was beheaded. Johnís disciples gave his body a decent burial, and reported to Jesus what had happened. Herodís act was another illustration of the rejection of Jesus, for Matthew so connected the ministries of these two men that what happened to one was viewed as having a direct effect on the other. Herod, by rejecting the Kingís forerunner, was rejecting the King who followed him. When Jesus learned of John the Baptistís death, He withdrew with His disciples to a remote place. From this time on, the ministry of Jesus was directed primarily toward His disciples. His goal seemed to be to instruct them in light of the fact that He would be leaving them. He said almost nothing more to the nation to convince them He is the Messiah.

14:13-21 (Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14). The people anticipated where Jesus and His disciples were going. The crowds, by walking along the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, joined Jesus. Feeling compassion (esplanchnisthē cf. Matt. 9:36), Jesus... healed their sick. When evening came, the disciples wanted to send the crowds away for there were no supplies in that remote place (cf. a solitary place, 14:13) to feed so many people. But the Lord said, They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat. However, they had only five loaves of bread and two fish. With these elements in Jesusí hands, a miracle occurred. The bread and fish continually multiplied so that all present ate and were satisfied. More than enough was available, for 12 basketfuls of broken pieces... were left over. About 5,000 men were fed on this occasion, plus many women and children, perhaps 15,000 to 20,000 in all. This miracle took place at Bethsaida (see Luke 9:10) just before the Passover (John 6:4). This is the only miracle of Jesus which is recorded in all four Gospels. The significance of this miracle was intended primarily for the disciples. Jesus was illustrating the kind of ministry they would have after His departure. They would be involved in feeding people, but with spiritual food. The source for their feeding would be the Lord Himself. When their supply ran out, as with the bread and fish, they would need to return to the Lord for more. He would supply them, but the feeding would be done through them. The people Jesus fed sensed that He was the anticipated Prophet (John 6:14-15; Deut. 18:15) and tried to make Him King. Surely One who could heal their physical diseases and provide food so abundantly must be the King. But the timing was not correct, for the nationís leaders had decided against Jesus (Matt. 12:24), and His official rejection would soon come.

14:22-36 (Mark 6:45-56; John 6:15-21). Jesus sent the disciples away in a boat. After dismissing the crowd... He went up into the hills alone to pray (cf. John 6:15). Sending the disciples into the boat did two things: it got them away from the crowd, and it gave them opportunity to ponder the significance of what had just happened through them. But soon they were in a storm. Somewhere between 3 and 6 in the morning (the fourth watch of the night), Jesus joined them, walking on the lake to their boatóa distance of ďthree or three and a half milesĒ (John 6:19). His power over the elements was obvious, but there was also a lesson in faith for the disciples in this experience. Their fear of seeing a ghost (Matt. 14:26) was relieved when Jesus announced that it was He. But Peter wanted greater assurance that it was really the Lord. He said, Lord, if itís You... tell me to come to You on the water. The Lordís reply was a simple Come. Peterís initial response demonstrated his faith for he stepped out of the boat and began walking toward the Lord. (Only Matthew recorded Peterís walk on the water.) In all recorded history only two men ever walked on... water, Jesus and Peter. But Peterís faith was challenged when he saw the wind, that is, when he saw its effect on the water. As he sank, he cried to the Lord for help. Immediately the Lord caught him. Jesus rebuked Peter for his lack of faith (cf. 6:30; 8:26; 16:8), which had caused him to sink. When they reached the boat, the storm calmed and the amazed disciples worshiped Him. Their concept of Jesus had been expanded and they acknowledged Him as the Son of God. Their view of Jesus was in direct contrast with the men of Gennesaret (14:34), a fertile plain southwest of Capernaum. When these men learned Jesus had arrived, they brought all their sick for healing. Their touching His cloak recalls a hemorrhaging woman in that area who had touched His garment (9:20). Though they acknowledged Jesus as a great Healer, they did not fully comprehend who He is. The disciples, however, were growing continually in their comprehension of His true identity.

 

Major Theme Analysis

(Scriptural Text from the New King James Version; cross-references from the NIV)

Prayer in Solitude (Matt 14:22-24)

 

22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.

23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.

24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

 

Solitude from people (22-23)

In solitude God will hear secret things (Matt 6:6)

6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

In solitude God can explain things better (Mark 4:34)

34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

In solitude but God is always with us (John 16:32)

32 "But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

In solitude to be alone with God (Matt 14:23)

23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,

 

Solitude from distractions (24)

No distraction to have time of communion with God (Mark 1:35)

35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

No distraction to come to terms with sin and its indignation (Isa 26:20)

20 Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.

No distraction to wait on God's answer in patient expectation (Ps 5:3)

3 In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.

No distraction by getting rid of anything that hinders (Heb 12:1)

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

No distraction by putting off corrupt conduct (Eph 4:22)

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;

No distraction by putting off things of the old nature (Col 3:8-11)

8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

 

Jesus Comes to His Disciples (Matt 14:25-27)

 

25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.

26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.

27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."

 

Jesus can come at night (25)

Jesus can come while praying at night (Ps 55:16-17)

16 But I call to God, and the Lord saves me. 17 Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.

Jesus can come at night so keep watch (Isa 62:6-7)

6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, 7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.

Jesus can come when we wait patiently (James 5:7-8)

7 Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.

 

Jesusí coming can be unexpected (26)

Unexpected because of not knowing the day He will come (Matt 24:42)

42 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

Unexpected like a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:2-3)

2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Unexpected because He could come in a twinkling of an eye (1 Cor 15:52)

52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

 

Jesus comes to bring courage (27)

Encouragement during affliction (Ps 10:17-18)

17 You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, 18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

Encouragement that leads to unity (Rom 15:5)

5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,

Encouragement from being united with Jesus (Phil 2:1)

2 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,

Encouragement that is eternal (2 Thess 2:16)

16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,

 


Peterís Faith, Doubt and Rescue (Matt 14:28-33)

 

28 And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."

29 So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"

31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God."

 

Faith requested and given to come to Jesus (28-29)

Faith requested to overcome unbelief (Mark 9:24)

24 Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

Faith requested so that it will be increased (Luke 17:5-6)

5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"

Faith given because of being a child of God (Luke 11:13)

13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Faith given because God gave His Son (Rom 8:32)

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all ó how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

 

Doubt because of fear (30)

Doubt because human limitations (Gen 17:15-19)

15 God also said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her." 17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?" 18 And Abraham said to God, "If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!" 19 Then God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.

Doubt, but with God all things are possible (Matt 19:26)

26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Doubt that should be turned into perseverance (James 1:4-6)

4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

Doubt that should be helped (Jude 1:22)

22 Be merciful to those who doubt;


Doubt that should turn into reliance on God (Mark 11:22-24)

22 "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. 23 "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

 

Rescue results in deliverance and worship (31-33)

Rescued because God knows how to rescue godly people (2 Peter 2:9)

9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.

Rescued because He can rescue from all harm (Job 5:19)

19 From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will befall you.

Rescued because He promises it to the righteous (Ps 34:15-17)

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16 the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

Rescued because He is faithful (1 Cor 10:13)

13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

 

Conclusion and Other Thoughts

Commentary Thoughts from Allen Carr

Intro: In this passage of Scripture, we find the disciples of our Lord trapped in the grip of a fierce storm. They find themselves in that storm, because they have been commanded by the Lord to cross the Sea of Galilee, v. 22. These men are in the will of the Lord and yet, we see them struggling against the storm. Try as they might, however, it appears that they are unable to make any headway. The wind is in their faces, v. 24. These 12 men are stuck in a storm and are unable to get out.

Have you ever found yourself in that place? Have you ever found yourself stuck in one of life's storms, and no matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, it seems that you cannot make any headway? Well, we all have times like that! It may seem to you like the storm will never end and that there is no possible good that can come from what you are facing. Thankfully, however, there is some good news for us tonight from the word of God. While the storms of life are never pleasant, they do produce certain benefits in our lives that we would do well to make note of this evening. "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.: Heb 12:11.

I would like for us to join the disciples this evening in their storm. As we do, I want to show you that the storms of life contain some hidden blessings for the children of God. I do not know what kind of storm you are facing this evening, but I do know that the Lord has a purpose in allowing that storm to rage in your life. Perhaps that purpose will become clear this evening as I preach for a while on The Hidden Blessings In The Storms Of Life.

I. V. 25 STORMS ARE GOD'S MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION

(Ill. The very thing the disciples feared. The sea, was the very thing the Lord used as the vehicle to reveal Himself unto them. He will do the same in your life and mine. Notice how Jesus came to them that night.)

A. He Comes In The Face Of Darkness - The Bible says that Jesus came to them in "the fourth watch". Sometime between 3 AM and 6 AM, during the darkest hours of the night, Jesus came walking on the water!

(Ill. You may be walking in darkness this evening and wondering where Jesus is. You may be facing some of the darkest days of your life right now. Let me remind you that our God is ever with you, Heb. 13:5! Let me remind you that even in the darkest hours of life God is still God and He is still in control of your life. 1 Kings 8:12, "Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness."; Psalm 139:11-12, "If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." Even the darkest hours of life cannot hide you from the face of God. He is there even when you cannot see Him.)

B. He Comes In The Face Of Disaster - The disciples were in a fight for their lives. Mark 6:48 says that they were "toiling in rowing". That is, they were struggling against the storm. I get the impression that these men were afraid for their lives. When they thought all hope was gone and that they were doomed, Jesus came walking on the waves!

(Ill. There are times when we all feel like we have lost the battle with our storm, but may I remind you that just as surely as the Lord is in control of your blessings, He is also in charge of your storms? When things look the bleakest, just look around, Jesus is about to show up! Remember, He may not keep you from going into the storm, but He will keep you in the midst of the storm! Think of the 3 Hebrews, Daniel, and Noah. God did not prevent any of these from going into the storm, but He saved them all in the midst of their storm. What He did for them, He will do for you!)

C. He Comes On The Face Of The Deep - The very thing the disciples feared, the raging sea, was the very thing God used as His vehicle to come to them. What a testimony this was! He was not telling them that the storm was not fierce, He was telling them that He was greater than the storm!

(Ill. That is still His word to you this evening! Regardless of what you are facing in life, remember that Jesus is greater than that storm you may be facing. If you will be patient and wait for Him, He will show up right on time. You will see that the storm was used by the Lord to make Himself clear to you. The very thing you fear will be the vehicle He uses to show up in your life!)

(Ill. The Apostle Paul - 2 Cor. 12:1-10. God used Paul's storm, a thorn in the flesh, to show up in and on Paul's life.)

(Ill. What I am trying to tell you is this: "Do not fear the storms of Life! They have been designed by the Lord as a means of bringing Him closer to you. He planned them and they are for your good - Rom. 8:28")

II. V. 25-31 STORMS ARE GOD'S MEANS OF TESTING

A. V. 25-27 They Reveal The Savior - When Jesus did come walking on the water, the disciples did not recognize Him. They thought He was a ghost. They cried out in fear. But, thank God, Jesus came with a message of peace and of power. He came to them with a word of peace, "be of good cheer." He came to them with a word of power, "It is I". He came to them with a word of potential, "be not afraid."

(Ill. The storms of life have the potential to reveal the Savior to us in a way we may have never considered before. When He comes to us, walking on our storm, He gives us the same message of hope that He gave to the disciples that stormy night.

1. A Message Of Peace - Note: They were still in the storm when He told them to cheer up. By His power, the Son of God can give us peace in the midst of our storms. That is the peace He refers to in Phil. 4:6-7.

2. A Message Of Power - When Jesus showed up, He came declaring His identity. "It is I", is an emphatic personal pronoun. It is the same statement Jesus used when He said, "I am the door"; "I am the way, the truth and the life."; "I am the bread of life"; "I am the good shepherd". Do you get the picture? Jesus is telling His Disciples to "cheer up, God is here!" If we can ever grasp the truth that Jesus is the great I AM. That He has all power in Heaven and in earth, Matt. 28:18, then we can enjoy peace in the midst of trials.

3. A Message Of Potential - Jesus also issue a command to His disciples: "be not afraid." This statement literally reads, "You stop fearing and don't you ever fear again." You see, if we can ever get hold of the fact that Jesus is in control of every area of our lives, that He is God, and that He possesses all power, then we can come to that place where we can trust Him fully through all the storms of life.

(Ill. The storms of life are a blessing because they reveal the Savior in a brand new way.)

B. V. 28-29 They Refine The Saint - When Peter heard that it was the Lord, Peter wanted to join Jesus in walking on the water. Jesus simply told Peter to come. Peter obeyed and he too walked on the water. Jesus used the storm as a means of helping Peter grow in the faith.

(Ill. When the storms of life are howling all about us, if we can get hold of the truth that Jesus is the Master of the Storm, then we too can rise above our circumstances and walk on the waves with the Lord. I realize that Peter's walk didn't last long. In just a moment he took his eyes off the Lord and he began to sink. However, Peter had a story that none of the other disciples had! Peter was the only one who could say, "I walked on my storm!" The storms of life will focus our faith if we will allow them to. God van use the difficult days to teach us more about Himself and to help us grow in the Lord. He will use the storms to make you more like Him. Remember, there were 12 men in that boat, but only one could say he walked on the storm like Jesus.)

C. V. 30-31 They Remind The Saint - Peter wanted to walk on water like Jesus. He put the Lord to the test and stepped onto the waves. However, he soon took his eyes off the Lord and when he did, he found himself in trouble. He remembered Who was in control and he called on the Lord and found the help he needed.

(Ill. The storms of life also serve to remind us of Who is in control. Like Peter, there are times when we get our eyes off the Lord during our storms. When we do, we are doomed to fail. We need to remember Who is in charge of this whole thing. You see, if we successfully navigate the stormy waters of life, we deserve no credit for our abilities or our success. If we are successful, it is because there is One Who is greater than we are holding our hand! Our success in the storms of life hinges upon our being willing to acknowledge Jesus as the Master of the storm.)

III. V. 32-33 STORMS ARE GOD'S MEANS OF TESTIMONY

A. They Testify Of His Power - Jesus calmed the storm! He didn't say a thing, He just got into the boat with the disciples and the sea was calmed.

(Ill. One day, he'll do the same in your life! The storm will rage until it has accomplished His purpose and then He will cause the winds to cease for you. All He is trying to get us to see this evening is that He is in control of the storms of life. It isn't me and it isn't you. Jesus is the Master of the Sea and He is the Master of the Storm as well.)

B. They Testify Of His Person - When Jesus stilled the storm, the disciples knew that they were in the presence of God. They confessed Him and they bowed before Him in worship. His power in the storms and over the storms of life testify of His person. They tell us that He is God and that He is in control of all the affairs of life. When the storms come, they are designed to bring us to the place the disciples found themselves in at the end: on our knees in worship before Him.

(Ill. Here is a secret to make the storm much more bearable for you: Don't wait until the storm is over to bow before Him. Bow now, while the waves are still threatening your boat. Bow now, while the winds are still contrary to you. Don't wait until blue skies are seen to humble yourself before the Lord. Nothing reveals your faith in the Lord more than you being willing to accept His will and love Him, even when things look the worse for you. Bow before Him, it honor the Lord!)

Conc: Sometimes, it is hard to see the blessings for the storm, isn't it? Sometimes it is hard to imagine the Lord bringing any good out of what you are going through. I don't know the nature of the storm you are facing this evening, but I know the One Who still walks on the waves. I know that is you will bring your need to Him, He will hear you and He will help you tonight. Who knows, He might just show up this evening striding on your storm. If you need help from the wave walker, then this alter is open. Bring your need to Jesus and let Him have His way in your life. Will you do that right now?

††† †††††††††††††††(Adapted from URL:http://www.sermonnotebook.org/new%20testament/Matt%2014_22-33.htm)

 


Concluding Thoughts from the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary

Peter sometimes said and did impressive things. Todayís text shows Peter doing something remarkable during a crisis of faith. When he began to doubt, he almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory! Peter had a problem with consistency. But Peter is not the most important character in this story. Jesus is. Jesusí power was greater than Peterís doubt, just as it is greater than our doubts. Trusting the Lord, whom we do not see, is hard to maintain when the negative things we do see test our faith. The resulting doubt is the proof that our faith is being tested. Is doubt, then, a symptom of inconsistent faith? It can be if it is never resolved, if it leads us to abandon our hope and trust in Christ. But if doubt prompts us to call out to the Lord for help, then doubt is a seeking faithófaith that seeks understanding, faith that seeks the divine word of peace in the middle of fear. When you experienced doubt, did you call out to the Lord? Perhaps you are crying out for help right now. You can know that the Lord hears you and that the certainty of his faithfulness is more important than the size of your faith. Or maybe your boat is sailing smoothly right now, and you barely think about the Lordís not being in the boat with you. Realize that a time will come when the winds will blow against you all night. And though it may seem that you are alone on the waves, the Lord knows your distress and will come to you if you bid him do so. Remember: he is with you right now as well. He is always with his people, to the end of the age.

 

Concluding Thoughts from the Echoes Commentary

Another Storm - Jesus had multiplied one little boy's humble lunch and fed over 5,000 people. After the astounding miracle, the disciples picked up 12 baskets full of leftovers. Jesus then commanded them to board a boat and cross the Sea of Galilee to Bethsaida. He, instead, climbed up a mountain away from the people to spend time alone with His heavenly Father. Very early the next morning, the men found themselves in the middle of the lake in a violent storm. Important lessons were about to be learned: keep your focus on God instead of circumstances. Previously, Jesus had been in the boat when a sudden storm arose on the sea. The Master had stood up and simply spoken the wind and waves into a calm sea. But now the men and the boat were about three miles from the shoreówithout the Savior in the boat. As the men desperately fought the strong winds, they suddenly they looked up and thought they saw Jesus walking on wateróabout to pass by the boat! Were they seeing a spirit? The sound of Jesus' voice answered their question: "It is I."

 

A Bold Disciple - Peter boldly trusted the Lord. If it was Him, Peter would walk on the sea to Jesus. Jesus beckoned Peter, and Peter climbed out of the human-made boat and placed his feet on a God-made body of water. He made his way toward Jesus with his eyes fixed on the Lord. Yet, Peter soon doubted. He focused on the rough waves all around, and they appeared more powerful than Jesus. Peter then began to sink, but he cried out for the Master to save him. Jesus quickly reached out and kept him from drowning, Why did Peter doubt? Jesus asked. Why did his focus become the raging sea? When the two of them climbed into the boat, the wind died down, and the disciples worshiped Jesus. Truly He is the Son of God!

 

When the Storms Rage - Peter's failure to continue his walk on the water gives us an excellent object lesson. When life gets challenging, where do we place our focus: on the troubling situation, or a faithful, never-failing God?