The Disciple: Walking On Water
October 11, 2020 / Matthew 14:29
The Disciple Sermon Series
Message 2: Walking On Water
Speaker: Gene Smillie
Scripture: Matthew 14:25-33
Background to the story of Peter walking on water:
Mathew, Mark, and John all have this sequence
- Jesus feeds 5000 people, then
- sends the disciples off by boat while He stays behind to pray,
- a great storm terrifies the disciples; Jesus approaches, walking on water
- Jesus calms the storm, and the disciples’ fears.
Only Matthew inserts the story of Peter, walking on water, here. In Matthew’s Gospel, Peter is the model of a disciple, that readers need to look at and learn from.
Peter (the disciples ) have just seen the power of what Jesus can do.
The story is set in the context that JESUS is – ultimately, Jesus’ relation with the Father is what determines everything.
The storm ( =“circumstances”) strike fear in disciples’ (=our) hearts.
Peter invites Jesus to call him to bold action – bold initiative as a disciple? . . . or audacious presumption?
[Hint: he wants to be where Jesus is. …“Follow me-” …“Okay: I will.”]
When did Peter begin to “fail” or to sink? –- When he “looked at” the , instead of “looking at” .
Life of Peter [of every disciple] is full of these moments: FEAR.
So, either focus on circumstances … or … focus on Jesus. Jesus says “Come” . . . if we do, we will certainly find ourselves in difficulties & dangers as disciples. He calls us into, not away from, life circumstances that will test our mettle. But He is there, always . . . Extending his hand to pull us up.
YOUR OWN SERMON NOTES:
- What “reasonable evidence” have you seen of God’s power (like the disciples’ having participated in feeding 5k people)?
- If you haven’t seen miraculous “signs and wonders,” why do you believe in Jesus? Apart from “Bible stories,” do you experience the reality of Jesus in your own personal life?
- How do you understand the significance of Jesus’ praying for long hours after he performed the miracle of feeding the 5,000?
- What is the significance of his communion with the Father before he joins the disciples in middle of the stormy lake?
- Do you think Peter did “the right thing” by prompting Jesus to invite him to come walking to him on the water? Did Jesus seem to think Peter did the right thing? How much “initiative” do you feel free to exercise in your walk as a disciple? How do you determine whether Jesus is calling you to do something, or whether it is just your own or someone else’s idea?
- As you look back over your life as a disciple, including ‘failures’ like when Peter sunk into the waves, have you learned lessons valuable enough to have made it worth it? Or do you wish you had just “not gotten wet”?
- How do you deal with FEAR in your life? What specific fears are troubling your peace of mind right now? Are you free to confide in members of your Life Group, or others, this matter?
- How do you “look at Jesus” instead of at circumstances?