The third message in our series of sermons
under the general heading of – “the outstretched hand of Jesus.”
The service will also include communion
and reception into membership.
The singer of the well known pop song invites us to – “Take a walk on the wild side.” Today we consider one such walk on the wild side, with the rambler being Simon Peter.
- Jesus has just fed the 5000 who sought to make him King.
- He has “made” his disciples get in the boat to row to the other side of the lake.
- He has retreated to the mountainside to pray, from where he sees his disciples struggling in the storm, so he approaches them walking on the water (Job 9 v 8.)
Put yourself in that storm tossed boat – how would you have reacted? What would you have done? We shall consider Peter’s response, which tells us much about the ups and downs of following Jesus, in that there will be times of ……….
1 – Faith.
Peter enquired – “Lord, if it you, tell me to come to you on the water.” He did not jump out of the boat; instead he asked permission because he wanted to be certain that this was not mere human foolishness, but the genuine call of God. Perhaps to his amazement Jesus said “come,” one of his favourite invitational words (Matthew 11 v 28; 24 v 4 and Revelation 22 v 17.) So in obedience, with his focus upon Jesus, Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water.
Before we engage in any water walking by stepping out of the boat in faith, we need to have checked it out that what we are about to do is of God, and not our own presumptuous idea (Joshua 9 v 14.) There will also be times of ……….
2 – Fear.
For a while the water walking went well, but then Peter “saw the wind,” was distracted, and ultimately was overcome with fear. His focus had shifted from the Saviour to the storm; fear gripped him and immediately he began to sink into the clutches of the raging sea.
When we engage in any water walking we need to keep our eyes upon Jesus; because as soon as we start to look at the obstacles and the problems we will be overcome by fear and we will sink without trace. This is why the most common Biblical Command is to – “fear not,” because our faith will only ever be as valid as its object (Hebrews 12 v 2.) Then finally there will be times of ……….
3 – Failure.
As soon as Peter began to sink he cried out – “Lord, save me” and immediately Jesus reached out a strong hand offering divine support, while at the same time uttering the reason for his failure – “You of little faith, why did you doubt? An often repeated refrain (Mark 4 v 40 & Luke 24 v 25) as failure is usually a matter of faith.
When it comes to water walking the call of God never sets us up to sink and to fail; but when on occasions this happens, we must not allow the failure to shape us; instead we must learn from the reason for the failure and look for the next God given opportunity to step out of the boat.
Theme: “That sinking feeling!”
Reading: Matthew 14 v 22 – 33
Led by: Chris Hughes
Preacher: Chris Hughes