We conclude our sermon series this Sunday that has been based on Matthew 14:22-33. If you haven’t been with us, Matthew 14:22-33 contains the story where Jesus walks on the sea to his disciples in a storm. Often this passage gets used to talk about the miracle of walking on the water. People take up sides for whether Jesus and Peter really walked on the water or not. However, the way the story ends reminds me this is a miracle story many of us could say we have experienced. Peter asked Jesus for the opportunity to walk on the water like Jesus. Jesus gave him the green light and to Peter’s credit, he got out of the boat and mastered a few steps on the stormy sea. Peter was walking like Jesus until! Peter was experiencing the power of God work through him until. The Bible tells us things were going well until, Peter “noticed the strong wind...” He noticed the force opposing him, became frightened, and began to sink. Pastor Steven Furtick says about this part of the story, “It’s amazing how we can see one wave of trouble and we take our eyes off of Jesus, and we lose track of his word.” Furtick’s commentary is a bit of an over-simplification, but he has a point. Peter was doing what Jesus was doing until Peter noticed the threat instead of holding tight to the word of permission, assurance and authority he had personally received from Jesus. This is a miracle story we can identify with more than we might realize. Haven’t we ever found ourselves doing what Jesus did until we noticed some form of threat or opposition? We serve God in a way we know we clearly heard God tell us to serve until we noticed – noticed no immediate results from our efforts or no words of appreciation and became discouraged. We found ourselves turning the other cheek like Jesus said toward those who lied about us or treated us unfairly until we notice – noticed that the other person didn’t finally see the error of their way, and it seemed we were turning more cheeks than what seemed fair? Can’t we all say we had moments of sinking in the sea of discouragement and bitterness; instead of hanging onto the word of Jesus that invited us to do what he does and lived the way he loved. Sure, this is a miracle story, but one we’ll use this Sunday to remember God still has a word for us. God has a word for us to live like he lived and see the presence of God reaching out to us with love and grace when we’re sinking.
It’s All about Him!