Date: May 7, 2017
Speaker: Jim Stanley
Series: Discipled to Disciple
Text: Matthew 14:22-33
And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. - Matthew 14:28-29
The story of Peter coming to Jesus on the water prompts the question: “What can you say you are doing only because the power of God is at work in your life?” Answers may vary from “nothing really” to “every single breath I take.” Some of us struggle with being dependent and forget to lean on the Lord at all while others know they need Him every step of the way. This account looks more at the things God may be calling you to do that defy human logic.
What makes the concept different from the unlimited supply of needs such as food found in the feeding of the 5,000 is that this is about opportunity and choices. It is the story of faith that enables action beyond our personal and even human ability. It is about a believing interaction with the supernatural power of God! As Peter writes “that through these (the promises of God) you may be partakers of the divine nature…”
Walking on water is a scientific impossibility (unless, of course, it’s frozen). Even the dead sea that due to its high salt content provides additional buoyancy will not support a persons weight on his or her feet. It is safe to say that the only two people in history that have walked on water are Jesus and Peter…unless God has made it possible for someone else. In other words, walking on water is totally a God thing.
But it is not dissimilar from the ways God operates in the Bible. From the parting of the Red Sea to the manna in the wilderness to water from a rock to jars of oil and flour that never run dry, to the sun standing still, to Jesus healing the sick and raising the dead to feeding 5,000 men and their families and many, many more instances, God adjusts His own rules regarding energy and matter, chemistry and physics to accomplish His purposes for a particular situation. He has been, is and always will be a miracle working God.
This shouldn’t surprise us. If we believe that the universe was created in the first place over the course of six days in all of its detail and glory through the spoken word of God, it ought to be easy to believe that He can modify His creation in any way and at any time He chooses. In fact, looking at biblical history, we should expect it. The problem is, we don’t! We tend to live by sight, not by faith thinking we are always bound by what are in reality artificial limitations.
This explains why the disciples thought they were seeing a ghost when Jesus came to them on the water. They couldn’t imagine that the natural laws could be altered so the waves would support the weight of a man…even Jesus! A ghost being a non-material being could float across the water, but that error in thinking engendered fear not wonder.
Thank God for Peter. He took Jesus at His word and realized He really was walking on the surface of the water. Peter had enough faith to believe that if Jesus could do this for Himself, He could also do it for him. Peter was smart enough to not just jump onto the waves but to ask: "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
Peter asked Jesus to enable Him to do something he could never had done apart from the power of God. When Jesus gave permission, Peter stepped out in faith and did it. I don’t know about you but there are things right now in my life that need to happen that only God can do. I intend to ask, believe and act. When God provides, it will be no less of a miracle than Peter on the water. How about you? Are you in the same boat?
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