How many of you are thankful that we have a savior who is with us in the seasons when it’s tough. In the seasons we don’t understand what is going on around us. And the times where we seem more hurt than happy. I’m thankful that we have a hope and a joy in Jesus
But I think if we’re all honest with ourselves this is easier to say than to believe. We know that we need to put our faith in Jesus but fear is creeping at the door. We know that he’s a solid anchor but what about when you truly have to trust him. We know that he’s our hope but it’s tough to believe in the moments when there seems to be no hope
We’re going to look at a story this morning where the disciples have a moment where they are struggling to trust Jesus because of a storm going on around them. By the end of the story, they end up putting more faith in Jesus by the end of it.
My hope for today is that your faith in Jesus will be strengthened or for some of you, you need to trust and put your faith in him for the very first time.
To set the context for our story, Jesus has just finished feeding the 5,000 with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. An absolutely incredible miracle of Jesus multiplying just a small amount of food to feed thousands of people and still have leftovers.
This is where our story picks up.
“Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.
As you can imagine, a miracle like this would have a great impact. And during this time they were expecting a messiah. Someone who they expected to come in and be a ruler over the people and overthrow the Roman power. As you know, Jesus was the messiah and did come to set them free, but not in the way of government authority.
In John 6:14-15 we see why Jesus sent the disciples away as he dismissed the crowd.
14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”
15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
Jesus feeding the 5,000 recalls God’s miraculous provision of manna in the wilderness for the Israelites of the Old Testament and declares Jesus to be Yahweh incarnate.
But since the people were trying to take Him and force him to be king, Jesus defuses the situation. He sends the disciples away from the excitement, disperses the crowd and withdraws to pray.
And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.
And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. (The fourth watch of the night would be 3:00-6:00am)But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid." And Peter (Jesus star pupil; the one who always had another question. Always had something to say) answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."
He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.
The title for the message this morning is “Faith in Jesus”
Peter having faith in Jesus in this moment allowed the miraculous to happen. In the midst of a scary situation, a situation where they were being tossed and thrown around by the waves, Peter stepped out of the boat and was walking on top of the water. The scary situation all the sudden did not seem scary anymore. Miraculous things happen when God moves. Miraculous things happen when we have our faith in Jesus.
The miraculous can happen when our faith is in Jesus
Peter walking on the water actually gives us a great example for how we are to live. — Peter walking on the water was 3 steps: it was obeying the word of Jesus, drawing on his power, and following his example
In the storms of your life… in the seasons when things are scary, intimidating, or your life is full of unknowns to you. Follow the steps that Peter did.
Obey Jesus (who is the Word)
Draw on His power
Follow His example
Here’s my question…
What makes a man get out of that boat? I don’t know if you guys have been in a boat when the wind is howling and the waves are beating against the boat, but you have to be insane to get out of the boat. Good luck getting me out of the boat. What made Peter get out of the boat? There is only one explanation… He had a word from Jesus.
Jesus said “Come.” Peter stepped out of the boat and began to do the miraculous… He was walking on the water. He obeyed Jesus, He relied on Jesus’ power, and he followed Jesus' example.
How awesome is that?!
I still believe that through the power of the Holy Spirit miraculous things can still happen and are happening today. But it’s going to take following this model that Peter showed us.
It will take obeying the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. It will take drawing on His power. And it will take following Jesus’ example.
Let’s continue the story.
Then what happened?
30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Peter was overcome by fear and doubt, he began to sink showing “little faith” (v. 31). Peter illustrates what happens when fear replaces faith in Jesus
Fear will drown out your faith
One will overtake the other.
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 1 Timothy 1:7
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15
There were times when I was child that I would get scared. You know what made me feel safe when I got scared as a child? When I knew my Father was with me…
Some of you in here need to here this… Your life may be scary at the moment, the wind may be howling and the seas may be beating up against your boat… But guess what? Your Father in heaven has never left your side.
He is always with you, and promises in His word that he will never leave you nor forsake you.
God never promised you wouldn’t go through storms, He promised He would be with you and get you through them
God does not want your circumstances to trump his word
God does not want your circumstances trump his presence
The most commonly repeated command in the entire Bible. It comes up well over 300 times. Do not be afraid. You’re going to feel it, but do not choose it. Fear is faith in the enemy and our faith is in the Son of God!
When God is with you, you do not have to be afraid of anything coming against you
The problem is that so often, we allow the circumstances around us to override what Scripture says… The situation around me intimidates me, so I am fearful. I do not feel God in this season of my life, so he must not be real. God if this is happening, then you must not care about me… You must not love me… Because if you loved me, if you cared about me, then I would not be going through what I’m going through
This reminds me of a something that happened with the disciples and Jesus before the story of Jesus walking on water. It is much similar to this one, let’s take a look because I believe it will help us see even more what God is teaching us today.
Let’s check out Mark chapter 4:
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Pastor Tony evans says this, God does not do miracles just to show off, He does the supernatural so that His name will be known.
He silenced the wind and the waves and they said who in the world is this…
Too many of us still got Him in a manger somewhere. Too many of us just have him as the “good man upstairs”..
Too many of us do not know who we are dealing with. Who then is this that even the wind and the sea obey him
This Christian thing isn’t working, this religious thing isnt working. ITS NOT WORKING.. That’s what the disciples are saying. Im not getting victory, im not getting delivered, im not im not im not… Its not working, and they want to know why
So they wake him up and say Do you not care that we are perishing?!
God do you not care what I am going through? Do you not care about the tears? Do you not care about the hurt? Do you not care? I think all of us can relate to one time or another we have felt just like the disciples.
Jesus then silenced the wind and the waves and looks to the disciples and he is saying to us today, ““Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
When you catch a glimpse how powerful Jesus truly is, everything else seems small in comparison
Even after he silenced the wind and the seas, they did not quite get it yet. Then later, he feeds the 5,000 men with two fish and five loaves of bread. Which doesn’t even include women and children which estimates to be 5,000-15,000 more people. After this, we see him in our story today walking on water and allowing Peter to be able to do the same thing. He then got into the boat and silenced the seas and the wind AGAIN
The recording of Jesus walking on water in the book of John also adds that when Jesus stepped into the boat, they were immediately to shore.
Jesus is doing these miracles to show that He is not just some guy from Bethlehem… He is the Messiah, the one who was prophesied about, the one who came to save, the one who has all authority in heaven and on earth… He is the living Son of God.
He is the one who can speak life into any situation. He is the one who you can trust and have hope in during the darkest of circumstances. He is the anchor in the waves and the lighthouse when things are dark.
It is when Jesus is with us in the storm and then brings us out of the storm that we are reminded of His glory, His love, and His grace. We see that He is faithful and worthy to be praised.
The disciples felt this… check out verse 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
This is the first time recorded in the gospels that the disciples worshiped Him as the Son of God…
He does not just bless you for you, He blesses you for His name, His glory, your testimony, your impact, your ministry.
Jesus performed miracles so that you and I could know that we can trust in Him as the Son of God and the savior of the world.
Peter would end up understanding this… Fast forward to Matthew 16…
“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."”
Matthew 16:13-16 ESV
Who is this man named Jesus? Who is this, that would come down from heaven to be born as a baby, grow up in a world to be tempted in every way, yet live a perfect life.
Who is this that has the power to know the thoughts of man, heal the sick, give sight to the blind, cast out demons, silence the wind and the waves?
Who is this, that would live a perfect life and be willing to be beaten to where he was almost unrecognizable as a man. Who is this, that he would stand silent on trial as he was being falsely accused?
Who is this that would carry the cross for you, for me, for all of humanity? Who is this, that would hang on a cross bearing the sins of the world and die….
And lastly, who is this man that was raised from the dead by living God so that all can choose to come into relationship with Him?
His name is Jesus! He is the way the truth and the life. He is the king of kings and the Lord of Lords. He is the Son of living God. He sits at the right hand of the Father and no one comes to the Father except through Him.
As we close, I have one last question for you… Who do you say that He is?
For my fellow Christian‘s here this morning, are you trusting in Jesus more than the circumstances around you? Or have you allowed fear to crumble your faith?
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
For those of you who have realized that you’ve had more fear than faith. You have allowed your circumstances to override his word. I have good news for you. We do not have a savior that casts us out when we show small faith.
How do I know? Did you catch it in the story. When Peter began to sink because he became afraid of the wind and the waves, he said Lord save me and Jesus reached down his hand and picked him up.
Some of you started out focused on Jesus. Focused on following His Word and His example, but you lost focus. Let this morning be a refocusing, a recalibrating back to Jesus. A spiritual heart shift back towards the heart of the Father.
I believe some of us this morning need to cry out to God and give it to Him. He is the only one that can get you through what you’re going through. He is the only One that can satisfy your inmost being. But you have to keep faith in Jesus. You have to trust His Word. And you have to follow his example.