VN520511 6-4-17 Doyle
Matthew 14:22-25. I’m using the New American. 22-25. It’s talking about Jesus. “Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.” Now, I know what most of us think but I really want us to pay attention to what actually has happened. Jesus in context had just performed a big miracle and even after this miracle He said okay, guys, I want you to get into that boat and cross that sea, but if you read the words, it’s always interesting to read the words and pay attention, immediately He made his disciples. He didn’t just say hey, hop in the boat and go. Evidently they weren’t wanting to go. In the King James and any version you have, you get the idea He insisted that they get in that boat and cross that sea. They weren’t wanting to get into that boat and cross that sea, but He insisted. You, get in that boat and cross that sea. So, they got in the boat and they crossed the sea.
Now, while they were out there the storm breaks loose. So, that’s the interesting thing. We know that Jesus is Christ. He is God. He is the Son of God. He is God Himself. Jesus would have known that the storm was coming just because of who He is, by virtue of who He is, but also the disciples might not have wanted to get in the boat because, you know, red sky at night sailors delight, red sky in the morning sailors take warning, or you’re standing there on the Sea of Galilee and you’re watching over the horizon there and you see this storm starting to brew and it’s getting ready to whip across that sea. Those guys have been on this sea all their life. They knew a storm was coming but I’ll tell you, if you’re ever over there you can be on the sea and all at once it’s just like boom, a storm will hit and it will hit so quick that a lot of times the boats don’t have time to clear. But even with modern boats when one of those storms hits they will clear that sea off. We’re getting out of here because it’s so rough out there.
So, Jesus knew it was coming. There’s a possibility that even the disciples may have seen this storm is brewing and we really don’t want to get out there, but He insisted, He insisted that they get in that boat and head out across there. Now, why would he endanger their lives on something like that, and what was He doing the whole time? Well, we know this, that according to Psalm 29:10-11 that I read earlier, “The LORD sat as King at the flood; yes, the LORD sits as King forever. The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.” In this case I really like the King James Version because it says He is sitting on the storm. It’s a clearer translation that the Lord is sitting on the storm and that He gives His disciples, He gives His people peace. Now, we have Christ knowing a storm is coming and anytime you find something that is recorded in the New Testament in the Gospel, what we call the Gospels, it’s there for a specific reason and a lot of times you’ll find out that it’s there to fulfill a particular prophecy so that as time goes on they can say He is God. Look what He did. It was prophesied that the LORD, capital L, capital O, capital R and capital D and that in the Hebrew is one of the names for God, and nobody used that name and only God, they understood only God can ride on a storm and yet Jesus sends them out in a storm.
They’re going across the lake and He did this to prove or to fulfill a prophecy so that they would know that He was God. Also, He did it so that other people who saw what happened, that He didn’t get on the boat but when they got on the boat they were across the sea, how did He make it? He couldn’t run all the way around that sea fast enough and yet He got on the boat with them and during that whole time there had been this tremendous storm. We do know this about Him, even though He knew what was coming, it says He went up to a mountain alone and He was praying. So, He was up there on this mountain knowing the storm was coming and He was interceding, and then as the storm got really, really bad, here He comes walking across the sea. You know, the disciples didn’t say hey, look everybody. It’s Jesus. Wow, the Lord is here, the Lord Jesus is here. We’ve been looking for You. Where have You been? This is really getting nasty out here. Good to see you God. Instead they saw Him walking across and they yelled it’s a ghost. Only a ghost could walk on water. Only a ghost could float through a storm like that. They were not expecting to see Jesus. I wonder how many times Jesus has showed up in our lives and we weren’t expecting to see Him but there He was and we’re going oh, that can’t be God. That can’t be a God thing and yet there He was.
He walks toward them. He keeps walking toward them and finally it dawns on them that that is Jesus. He is on that sea and we keep beckoning Him. Well, He’s on the sea but the point is that He is not just walking on water, but He is riding that storm out. He might have been more like surfing across the sea, but He was walking across that sea. That storm was raging. He’s standing on top of it. That sermon just got me. It means that He is in control. If you’re sitting on top of the motorcycle you’re supposed to be in control of the cycle. If you’re sitting on top of a tractor you’re the person who is supposed to be in control of that tractor. Jesus is sitting on top of that storm. He is controlling it because when He said stop, it stops. One of the points that we’re supposed to get through all this is Jesus sometimes leads us into these situations and we should be looking for Him in this situation. Now, I’m going to take a little bit of liberty here but I’m using two words out of 2 Kings 6:25. So, I’m not wanting to offend but I am saying it’s in the Bible so I’m going to go with it’s okay.
There was a family who moved out from the city into a rural area. When they got there, there was a dovecot, chicken coop, a pigeon coop actually. A pigeon coop, a dovecot, and the dovecot was out there and they found out that this man, like two owners before, had this pigeon coop, dovecot, built and he raised homing pigeons. Well, the kid was just yes, I’m an optimist. I want a homing pigeon. I want homing pigeons. I want homing pigeons and the dad kept saying no, they’re not coming back. You’re not going to get this. You’re not going to get the homing pigeons. This isn’t going to happen. So, he tried to teach his boy that life doesn’t turn out and you can’t always be optimistic. He has, and this is based out of 2 Kings 6:25, a load of dove’s dung dumped in that pot. His boy comes back from school. He opens the door and there it is and he grabs a chair and he goes in and sits down and his dad says what are you doing? He says dad, with this much dove’s dung there had to be a bunch of pigeons in here last night and I’m waiting for them. That’s what we’re supposed to be doing. When everything falls apar,t but we know that we can acknowledge God in all of our ways and He is leading us, we’re supposed to be optimistic that even though we’re sitting in this pigeon coop, we’re sitting there and everything looks bad we’re saying where is He? He’s here someplace.
The things we do know is this that He is up there interceding for us. He was on a mountain on high interceding for those guys on the boat. He could see those guys. He was on the boat. He was interceding for them, praying for them, and then He went down to prove who He was, and then He stops the storm. He leads us into a situation like that and then we are also supposed to say He is here someplace. We are going to keep going and trusting Him and walking in what He does, trusting what He has led us because He is in this someplace. He is interceding for us right now, but when the going gets really, really tough He is going to be here just for us and we need to learn to walk into these situations trusting in Him. Whenever we’re in this bad situation and we’re trying to weather out a storm we need to remember these things. First of all, even though it’s a storm, even though it looks bad the Bible says that He will never leave us or forsake us, we are to always be looking for Him even in a bad situation. This is a teaching moment. When we are in situations, it is a teaching moment. Wow. What’s He going to teach us?
He was teaching those disciples that He was the Lord God. He was the Messiah. He is God in a body and He came down to dwell among them, to live with them, to lead them, to guide them, to teach them how it truly was. Moses and his law showed or demonstrated the glory of God, He is high and lifted up. He is up there and He is so high and so pure you can’t come close to Him, and yet He comes down Himself and He says I am walking among you and I want you to understand what I’m truly, truly like at heart. Yes, I’m truly holy, truly pure, but I also am truly concerned and truly loving towards you. So, He used that as a teaching moment to demonstrate to them who He was. He will use those situations for us. The second thing we always need to remember is just what I said, He is up there. We know that He is at the right hand of the Father now ever interceding on our behalf. He is always asking God to protect us, to lead us, to guide us, to show us mercy, to bring us closer. It says that any good work He started in our life He, Christ, will finish that work in our lives so we have to say okay, He is up there and we’re trusting Him and He right now is praying for me. He is seeking God that I will come through all this and it will be beneficial to me in the long run.
The third thing is, there is absolutely no dishonor in trying and failing. There is no problem if you’re out there and you’re trying. Those guys were on the boat. The men were trying to get across to the other side, like Jesus said. Row, row, row your boat. They were out there trying to get across. They could not do it. They could not do it. When Jesus came up He did not condemn them. He did not condemn them. They were trying and that’s not the problem. The only time you have a problem is when you don’t try. Back to the parables of the talents. In the parable Christ is talking and He says the man gives 10 talents or let’s 10 pieces of gold to one servant, 5 to another, and 1 to the last. 10 invest, 5 invest. Number 1 did not even try. The guy who had one talent didn’t try and that’s where the problem is. It’s better to go out there and try and try and try and not make it than to go out there with something and not try at all, and we’re all in that situation each and every day of our lives because what does it say? Unto every one of us is given the gift. A gift. We don’t know what it is but a gift from the Holy Spirit. That gift is the basis of a ministry. Whatever God gives you becomes a ministry to you. Some people are fortunate enough to have absolutely every gift that is given. The apostles as far as I can tell had every gift that is ever mentioned in the scriptures in the New Testament. They had all the abilities. They could preach, they could teach. They even saw the future. They could pray for people and get healed and on and on and they could governance. They had to get the governance. They just had all sorts of abilities.
So, they had a big multi-faceted ministry. Some people only have one ministry. That’s fine. Or one gift. That’s fine. But God will give us enough gifts and abilities so we can carry out our ministry. Every one of us has at least one thing that we’re responsible for. It’s better to get out there and try than to say well, God, I was just embarrassed. I only have one… The reason I did that is because I’m reminded of the prophet talking to King David and he tells him the story about how this rich man took this other guy who only had one little sheep and I took that sheep away from him. Don’t let anybody take your ministry away from you. We each one have some kind of responsibility and we need to step into it. Not every responsibility that we have as a ministry is carried out inside these four walls. A lot of us can have responsibilities out there. That is where we meet the world. That is where we meet people who need Jesus Christ and I don’t know what your ministry is but you have one, and even though you push forward and you’re not perfect at your ministry God is saying that’s okay, but don’t quit trying. Keep pushing. Keep going forward.
Philippians chapter 3 says forget what’s behind you and keep pressing forward to the goal of the upward calling of Christ. Keep pressing forward. If you’ve done something that’s not perfect do what Isaiah did. Say God, I’m not perfect. He will say I forgive you. Then say I’m going to forget that and I’m going to keep pushing ahead. I’m going to keep pushing ahead and God will say that’s the attitude. You keep going because I promise that you will have a fulfillment of your ministry if you keep moving forward. Keep moving forward.
I’m going to close with the reading that I started with, Psalm 29:10-11. “The LORD sat as King at the flood; yes, the LORD sits as King forever. The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.” We keep moving forward. God is sitting, King James, on that flood, on that storm. He is the King forever and He will give us the strength and He will give us peace, but we’ve got to keep pushing forward toward the upward calling. We have a responsibility and we need to push forward and at last try to fulfill it and He will bring to pass exactly what He wants. Go out there in peace and live up to your potential, try to live up to your potential because there is no condemnation to those who are trying to walk in the Lord Jesus Christ.