Matthew 14:22-32 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus Walks on the Sea
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.
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.”
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,[b] 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.
Do you ever face any fear? Times we are afraid?
--Face fear with faith. Faith in the Lord our God!
--To know Him as our Savior. Call on Him in prayer.
There are times like these, when many are afraid.
--Afraid of terrorists, diseases, losses, of being alone, insufficient finances, fear of the future.
--We fear for our families, loved ones, friends.
--You and I need a faith in God, Who calms fears.
--Who forgives sin. Saves souls. Loves us dearly.
--Here and hereafter, the Lord will take care of us.
--That's why Jesus so often says, "Fear not .."
In Matthew 14, The Twelve are on the Sea of Galilee.
--The middle of the sea, and night; getting nowhere.
--They had been rowing a long while - in a storm.
--"Tossed by the waves and wind," they were afraid.
--"They cried for fear." They prayed. Jesus came!
--Jesus came "walking on the sea." On the water!
--They thought He a "spirit or ghost." More afraid!
Jesus said, "Be of good cheer! It is I," the Lord.
--The God who had called them. Who sent them out.
--Who loves so dearly, even came and faces a cross to save them - and all of us, in all the world!
--"It is I," the revelation of the One, True God.
--Then Jesus spoke these words, "Do not be afraid."
--Do we hear them? They are also for you and me.
--"Do not be afraid." Let your faith calm fears.
One Halloween at a church meeting mischievous Southern boys dressed as devils - and came to the church.
--They really looked the part - with pitchforks!
--Most people scattered - all except one little lady.
--Shaking with fear, she said, "Please, Mr. Devil, I have been in this church 40 years; but I have been on your side all the time!" Whose side are we on?
--That dear lady needed to get on God's side!
This Chapter is so interesting - Jesus fed 5000 folks with a lad's lunch! Prays. Comes to disciples' need.
--All the while, Jesus was aware of their need.
--Don't you think that, as God, He knows about us and all our needs? What each of us is facing?
--As God He heard their prayers. He hears ours too.
--Like a loving Mother hears the cries of her child.
Jesus came in "the fourth watch of the night" (v 25).
--When is that? It begins at 3 A.M. in the morning.
--And extends to 6 A.M. It is dark. Jesus is there!
--Friend, when we have Jesus as Savior, He will care!
--Cares about you and me. So we should not fear.
--May you and I care about Him. Be living for Him!
Wars and killings are all over, and frightening.
--To calm fears, let's avoid these dangerous places.
--Our troops cannot do that. Our hearts go with them.
--For their safety and salvation. And their family.
--We often pray for them. And for all our youth.
--Young people especially need to be "born again."
--Let's all obey the Lord and His Word.
--It is how one is kept pure, to win over sin.
Then, I think of the elderly, and all the shut-ins.
--Of those also in our prisons, and prison ministry.
--What all these may be going through, day by day.
--Let us not forget a single one, or need. To pray.
So Jesus comes to His own, in a night storm, to help.
--Peter said, "Lord, if it is You, command me come."
--Come where? "Come to You, on the water" (v 28).
--A bold request. Jesus didn't mind, or rebuke, him.
How often Jesus says to us, "Come to Me .. for rest."
--"Come, with all your sins, sorrows, fears .. come!"
--So Peter stepped out of the boat, and on the water.
--He was looking to Jesus! As he did, he could walk!
--On the water, like Jesus! "He walked on water!"
--Not very far, nor very long. How did he do it?
--His eyes on Jesus! Looking away, he began to sink!
--"Lord, save me," Peter prayed, going in the deep.
--Immediately, Jesus did. And saves any soul today.
Living without faith in God is like driving in a fog, on a rugged mountain road. Its dangerous.
Like oil and water, faith and fear don't go together.
--We must choose. Which? Have faith? Or afraid?
--I'm going to get on the side of faith .. in God.
--To do something positive, and lasting, for Him.
--William Carey the missionary said, "Expect great things of God and attempt great things for God."
The Bible is full of "Fear nots." "Be not afraid."
--Fear is natural. Face them calmly is supernatural.
--We must be taught the Word of God to overcome them.
Did you know that worry is akin to, caused by, fear?
On a ship around the coast of France to Italy, where many ships had been lost over the years, we were in a terrible tempest - for several days.
--The ship tossed in the wind and waves.
--So few able to eat, or to get about.
--Many were reading Bibles, and praying, in meetings.
--All aboard were returning from a world conference - in Stockholm - of the Baptist World Alliance.
--How calming .. comforting .. the faith of believers in the Lord, and presence of His Holy Spirit.
Look at Peter, in the storm, on the sea, now sinking.
--Notice, he didn't call for a life-preserver or oar.
--He went directly to Jesus! "Lord, save me!"
--Can anyone come, be saved? Yes, I have done it!
--You can do it. It is so simple. So powerful.
--Why not pray that prayer? He is the Savior.
My friend, let's face it, we are in a difficult world.
--We are all in the same boat. In stormy times.
--Try to do right, work hard, may seem we get nowhere.
--Let the Lord Jesus come alongside. Speak to us.
--"Be of good cheer! It is I; be not afraid."
--Doesn't that bring calmness? Give courage? Help?
There are hundreds of times God says, "Fear not."
--Enough for every day. Every situation. Every one.
These "fear nots" work when one comes to Christ.
--This experience made a real convert of Peter.
--Brings comfort, calm, and courage to many of us.
May I illustrate again, in Matthew 8, Jesus at Sea.
--Again a storm - "a tempest, waves covered" (v 24).
--Disciples afraid. Jesus "asleep" in the boat.
--They waked Him, praying, "Lord, save us." —They were fearful. "We are perishing."
--Listen to Jesus, "Why are you fearful?" Yes, why?
--Then speaks to us all, "0 you of little faith."
--Jesus arose, "rebuked the winds and sea" (v 26).
--What happened? "There was a great calm."
--My dear friend, let our Lord calm our stormy fear!
Fear happens since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, and fled from Him, for their sin.
We need to go to the Father, get His love; to Jesus, get His forgiveness; to the Spirit, get His holiness.
--All this, by repentant faith - that calms fear.
Most know what fear is. But what is saving faith?
--Faith is simply believing God, and His holy Word.
--And acting on it, because what God said, and did!
--Sublimely, at the Cross for us. And rising again!
--To trust the Lord fully. Receive, obey, serve Him.
We must go to the Father, Son and Spirit for faith.
--To use the small faith we all have; let it grow.
--And to fight all our fears with this holy faith.
Fear sees the obstacles. Faith sees the way.
--Fear sees the darkest night. Faith sees the day.
--Fear dreads to take a step. Faith soars on high.
--Fear asks, "Who believes?" Faith answers.. "I."
--I modified this familiar, great, anonymous poem.
Are you facing any storms - or fears - in your life?
--Many are today. Come, with them all, to Jesus.
--My Messiah, the world's Savior, can calm them all!
Now born again my greatest fear is displeasing Him.
Do you know the Lord, as your Savior from sin?
--If not, try Him. Surrender your all. He'll save.
--He will forgive. He will keep you, in His joy.
--He's the One!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD.