But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
What are some of the obvious takeaways from this familiar story? 1)When you trust Jesus he will enable you to do things you never dreamed possible. 2)If you take your eyes off of Jesus you will fall.
I was actually drawn to something in the middle of these two. When you step out and follow Jesus you can expect the winds to come up around you to blow you off course. When Peter stepped out of the boat the seas were already disturbed, but that didn’t stop him from trying to get to Jesus. It is one of the most pure acts of Peter’s ministry. He saw Jesus and he knew he had to be near him. It didn’t take long, however, that the winds and waves reminded him that he wasn’t on solid ground.
All of these statements are true. What we must pray is that when we are in the midst of where Jesus has called us to be, we will not take our eyes off of him, or let ourselves be distracted by the noise of the wind.
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Matthew 14:22-33 in our New Winter Sermon Series: “Miracles” The Gospel of Matthew.
Thousands upon thousands of Israelites are seen wandering in the desert, hungry and asking for food. Have you heard this story before? What happened then? God provided. What happens here? God provided.
Jesus is clearly making a BOLD statement. He is the one they have been waiting for. He is their provider! He even leaves 12 baskets of leftovers; the same amount as the number tribes of Israel. God has provided in abundance once again for Israel.
The people still miss something. Jesus is not just the provider, He is the provision. “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” This provision was so much greater than anything God had ever done before. He provided Himself to us! It was more than physical; it was spiritual!
“What is the deepest root of your joy? What God gives to you? Or what God is to you?” -John Piper
Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes out of God’s mouth. Deuteronomy 8:3
Bread is good and needed, but it can’t sustain you. That’s the lesson they would learn a little later. Jesus would say in the days following the miracle with the loaves and fishes, “I am the bread from heaven…whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will have eternal life.” Striking words. Most were bothered by them, but Jesus’ message was clear. In the same way that bread sustains your physical body, so you must be sustained by me to have eternal life.
Real sustaining life (or a whole life, both physical and spiritual) can only be had by consuming the Word, believing in and following Jesus. This is why Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life.” He wasn’t only talking about his own physical resurrection, but Martha’s too, and ours.
So the truest life, whether physical or spiritual (they aren’t separate) can only be known in Jesus. He is our sustenance in the truest sense of the word.
The disciples surveyed the crowd and then the resources. They came to the conclusion that there wasn’t enough to feed all the people. Then Jesus presses them, “You give them something to eat!” Two great lessons are working in concert here. The first is that in spiritual and supernatural matters we can do nothing without the power and help of Jesus. Remember Jesus’ teaching in John 15, “apart from me you can do nothing.” Just as true is the fact that God had given them something, and when placed in His hands was all that was necessary to accomplish His purpose. Be careful of a subtle difference. Nothing really means nothing. Sometimes in our pride and arrogance we tend to think we can at least do something and that all we need is some specialized help from Jesus.
“What can you do for Jesus?You know the answer to that as well as I do: nothing at all. But God has given you something that can be used effectively if you place it in Jesus’ hands.” JM Boice
This miracle must be a very important lesson! It is the only one included in all four Gospels. When the disciples came to Jesus with the need to feed the people, Jesus must have felt some sadness. The disciples had been with Him for about two years now and they did not think about the fact that Jesus could provide the solution Himself. The ‘truth’ of the situation to the disciples was that there was not enough food to feed the multitudes (possibly as many as 25,000). Just like the storm at sea appeared to them to be their death until Jesus spoke, the truth of the miraculous provision was not evident until Jesus spoke. The ‘Truth’ was that Jesus was the Bread of Life.
How much time have you spent with Jesus? Have you walked with Him just a short time or has it been a lifetime? Do you recognize that the Truth is not known until Jesus weighs in? It is not just what Jesus can provide for you…it is who He is and the salvation we have through Him!
Sometimes geography gets in the way. When one reads “up toward heaven,” one might suppose that Matthew was referring to some kind of primitive cosmology which located heaven way above our heads. He wasn’t. The unseen dwelling of God is not “up” as in “somewhere in the stratosphere,” but “up” as in greater and higher than the physical realm. When you speak of a higher grade in school, you don’t mean the second floor, you mean “advanced.” Likewise, when the Bible speaks of the spiritual realm in such terms, it refers to the fundamental wellspring of existence. It is the spiritual side of reality—and God in particular—that undergirds and upholds all that is. It is in this sense that Jesus was looking “up” to the source of all provision.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 14:14-21(day two) “…so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Vs. 15b
This is actually a pretty practical request. The disciples were weary and not prepared to handle the crowds that were eager to see Jesus. Seeing that there was no markets or means to get food near, the disciples were convinced the best decision would be to send them back to their homes. It makes sense. The crowd would be fed, and able to sleep in their own homes. Jesus saw it differently.
Do you ever lose your sense of wonder in God to the idol of practicality? Do you make judgements about a problem solely on the basis of what will be easiest, or what is best? The disciples were right in their assessment, but they missed the God-sized opportunity to share the gospel. Don’t miss Jesus in your desire to make everything make sense.
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Matthew 14:14-21 in our New Winter Sermon Series: “Miracles” The Gospel of Matthew.
“How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep!”
These Pharisees would have definitely provided help to a stranded sheep on the Sabbath. Sheep were property. It would have been a personal loss for them if they had not intervened. This was the problem. They saw their stranded sheep as more valuable investments than their own people that were stranded and hurting right in front of them. Truth is, they probably enjoyed having hurting people around, because it made them feel more holy. They believed God had blessed them with health and prosperity over these others.
Then Jesus (the Good Shepherd) sees this man (one of his sheep) in need and intervenes. Jesus gave this man more than a hand; He gave him his life back. It would have been more than a personal loss if Jesus would have let this man slip by on a mere nuance. He was able to change this man’s life expectancy and trajectory. This was a much more valuable investment!