Sunday service, Michael Ngubane, 22 Oct 2017
22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
It’s as if the Bible had only been written today. It’s so applicable.
Before this passage we read how John spoke the truth fearlessly to great and small. His message wasn’t a popular message, but it was very necessary. We know how John was beheaded by king Herod, and till today we hear of gruesome murders and beheadings almost daily! Jesus having heard that John was killed went alone to pray, but the people followed Him and found Him. He saw that they had great need, and helped them although they were in the wilderness.
Now a wilderness changes into a paradise with the Lord Jesus. We’re not talking about a wilderness of your own doing, but of God’s doing. The disciples wanted to send the people away but Jesus told them to give them food. The disciples had nothing except five loaves and two fish. We see the compassion of the Lord Jesus for these people.
Do you have compassion for others? Maybe you’re just satisfied that it is going well with you? If you still have your first love then you will have the same compassion Jesus had.
Afterwards Jesus made the disciples enter into a boat to go to the other side, while He remained. But it was hard and difficult rowing against the wind and waves. During the fourth watch of the night, that is between 3 and 6 in the morning, Jesus came to them on the water. They were terrified, but Jesus addressed them, “it is I be not afraid”.
Maybe you find yourself in a similar difficult situation and you also hear Him comforting you. How do you respond? Take courage when He appears. Peter answered that if it was really Jesus that He should command him to go to Jesus. And Peter walked on the water! But when he saw the wind and the waves he started to fear and doubt and he sank. Thank God that he cried out, “Lord, save me”, and he was saved!
Are you troubled by doubt? Maybe you’ve even come to the Lord but now you still doubt Him whether He had really forgiven you. May God open your eyes that you may truly see His power at work. Don’t you see God’s working daily around you, how He is changing lives daily?
Peter was a man with many faults but many times it was because of his over eagerness. When Jesus told him to come and walk on the water he didn’t hesitate but went immediately to go to Jesus.
Maybe that is a picture of you. In the beginning you walked boldly in the faith but now that doubt had entered everything becomes too difficult. Maybe you have a burden but you don’t go to pray with someone but simply carry on in that way day by day.
You experienced the power of Jesus to help you walk on water figuratively, but what is it like today? Are you still able to cry out to Jesus in the midst of your problems? Stretch out your hand, He will take hold of you and save you. Tell Jesus all about your problems. Bring those sins to Jesus that are weighing you down. If it’s your tongue spreading slander which have caused much harm and murdered other people, tell Jesus about it and cry out that He would save you.
It’s better to suffer with Jesus a short while rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short season and then enter into everlasting agony. Why do you doubt? Can you doubt that the Lord Jesus can save to the utmost?
Dietmar Joosten added: Note that after the Lord changes you on the mountain top then he sends you down to the sea where there are winds and waves and difficulties. But Jesus is there and that is enough.
The Lord is calling you today.
Peter had time to shout. Maybe this is your last chance to shout. At another time Peter was following Jesus afar off and he fell again.
The Lord sent them on a boat to the other side and immediately a storm arose. They didn’t sit back and complained and said it was Jesus’s fault but they did what they could and rowed with all their might until Jesus came.
Do something about your situation with God’s help. Don’t give up. Salvation is not of human strength. It is God’s grace but you have to row that boat until Jesus comes.