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Get Out of the Boat August 12, 2010

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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Matthew 14:22-33
Where do you turn when things do not go well? Alcohol? Drugs? Some tree in the middle of a field?
What do you do when you cannot find the answer? Do you isolate yourself? Do you surround yourself with people? Do you go to the club? Do you run away? Do you scream obscenities?
Who do you run to when things are not right? Buddha? Allah? Tarot cards? The universe? Your friends? The arms of a stranger? Your spouse? Your life mate? Your children?
When people were first telling me about having a relationship with Jesus, they often used the argument of friendship. “Oh, if you accept Jesus as your Savior, you will have a Friend that sticks closer than a brother.” While this is true, it was a poor argument for me because I replied, “I have lots of friends. Why would I want an imaginary friend?” The truth of the matter is . . . They were right.
Jesus had just learned that His friend, His cousin had been murdered by Herod on a whim. As He withdrew to find a quiet place to mourn, He found Himself followed by a large crowd. As it grew late, the disciples encouraged Him to send the crowd away so they could go into the surrounding villages to buy food to which Jesus replies, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” They found a boy with a small amount of food; five small barley muffins and two salted sardines. From this Jesus performed a miracle and fed five thousand people not counting the women and children.
It was just about the time of the Passover and people were eagerly anticipating the Messiah. When the crowd saw the miracle that took place, they sought to make Jesus their king even if by force. He sent the disciples away and promised to join them later after He dismissed the crowd. He spent the next hours calming them and sending them on their way before finally finding Himself alone with the opportunity to pray and mourn.
Late in the night, the disciples found themselves in a storm on the Sea of Galilee. They were stuck in the middle of it and the storm was bad. Just as things were at their worst, they were terribly frightened by a vision of what seemed to be a phantom. It was Jesus walking on the water to get to them. Jesus assured them that it was only Him and that they should not fear. Peter asked to join Jesus on the water as a test of his courage and faith. As he got out of the boat, he saw the waves and the realization of his situation overwhelmed him and he began to sink. Jesus took him by the hand and after they had gotten in the boat, Jesus calmed the storm that had been raging around them.
This is more than just a story. And, there is more to the story than just a miracle. This is an example of the miraculous power of Jesus over nature. He walked on water. He invited and enabled Peter to do the same. He calmed the storm. There are so many sermons that have come as a result of this passage. But, the sermons about these miracles all miss the main point, the important miracle. These are all lesser miracles. The greater miracle is that the disciples recognized Jesus for who He truly is. After He calmed the storm their worship reveals their confession that Jesus truly is the Son of God. There is only One being in all the universe that controls the weather, God. When Jesus was on the water He said, “It is I,” which literally translates out, “I am.” This identifies Him with God who referred to Himself to Moses as, I AM. Another important miracle is Jesus’ compassion. He did not leave his disciples, but rescued them and cared
for them in the midst of the storm. He does the same thing for us today. Jesus cares for us. In this is the greatest miracle of all, Jesus’ presence abiding within us. Just as Jesus cared for His disciples, He cares for us today.
Those people who told me about Jesus all those years ago were right. It is not that I have some imaginary friend to cry to, or to tell all my fears to, rather it is comforting to know that I am never alone. When the storms of life bear down heavily upon me, I can call out to the One who can calm the storms. When life is overwhelming, He is the Peace that passes all understanding. When I am afraid, Jesus goes with me through the trial. The benefit of salvation is ultimately heaven, but the present reality is that Jesus is right here with us and always will be. He promised He would never leave His disciples as orphans. He made His way out to His disciples in their time of need, while in the midst of a storm. Jesus does the same thing for us today. He wants to rescue you.
Are you trusting Jesus?

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