Matthew 14:22-36

Thy Word:

Jesus Walks On Water

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here! ”

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.

Matthew 14:22-36 NLT

*****

My Thoughts: Soon after everyone ate, Jesus sends the people home and he finally goes off alone to grieve for John and spend time alone with his Father. Jesus also leaves his disciples behind on their boat. Nighttime falls while he is gone.

The disciples just witnessed healing and feeding miracles so their spirits had to have been on an all time high!

But then here comes a storm.

Isn’t that just like life? We barely begin to celebrate the miracles of God and a spiritual high, then a storm comes.

But what I love is Jesus comes too.

We don’t see the disciples calling out to Jesus, we are only told they were in trouble and they were fighting heavy waves.

But Jesus knew and he came.

As believers when we get hit with storms, even before we call on the name of Jesus, he comes. Sometimes we act like Peter and we look for Jesus. This typically happens because we have shored our strength by staying close to Jesus. Therefore, when we see him we run to him and our faith carries us across the water and through the storm.

Unfortunately, sometimes we take our eyes off of Jesus like Peter did and we look harder at the storm. We forget the power of Jesus to overcome the storms in our life and we begin to give the storm too much power and too much importance. With that leeway, the storm begins to destroy our confidence and we are terrified of what could or does happen.

What do we learn from this? When we take our eyes off of Jesus and look into the murky waters, we begin to sink.

Why do we do that? Jesus tells us it’s because our faith is weak and we doubt his power to overcome any storm we face. I also think our fears steer our minds to look for something physical, or worldly, to hang onto in the midst of the storm. It might be money, fame, power, food, drugs, or alcohol, or we might try to put our faith in another person.

However, only Jesus is Jesus and everything else is a poor substitute—a false idol— that will only cause us to sink deeper into the muddy waters of our storms.

Jesus tells us, “When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped.” In other words, when we hold onto Jesus we get through the storm, we don’t stay in the storm.

This reminds me of when my daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy as a young girl. It was a very difficult time of tests and more tests, including multiple MRI’s. I never let her go through any test alone but especially those MRI’s because they were so loud they scared her. I donned the same hospital gown she wore and sat in a chair right by her tiny legs sticking out of that massive machine. In between sessions I would caress her legs and speak words of assurance to let her know I was still there.

Jesus does the same for us, you know. Our nature is to want something tangible we can touch or feel to know he is still with us in our storms. If we would just settle down, take a deep breath, and remind ourselves of the promises Jesus gives us in the Bible, we would realize we have what our hearts are seeking to get through those storms.

We will always have storms because we live in a sinful world and people who don’t know the Lord do terrible things. Jesus even warns us we will face hardships so we shouldn’t be surprised when storms come your way.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT

Don’t look for false idols or put too much pressure on another human being to carry you through the storms, because inevitably you both will fall.

“Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies.” Jonah 2:8 NLT

Today, let’s choose the power and promises of Jesus to carry us through those storms.

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 NLT

*****

Closing Prayer: Father God, what a rich lesson you gave us today that reminds us to lean on you every day so we have strength in our storms. Father I pray that we also remember as much as we want to be rescued from our storms we gain strength and wisdom when we walk through our storms with you by our side. We love you Lord and as hard as it may be, we thank you for all the storms that teach us valuable lessons and bless us when we cling to you. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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