Sermon Snippet for Sunday, October 22, 2019

Matthew 14:22-33

Jesus Walks on the Water

The man is told to take his mat home with him after he is healed. I would imagine Jesus wanted him to take it home, nail it to the wall as a reminder… because it is like that picture of my younger self.  A reminder not to go backwards but forwards no matter the past.

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. 25And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. 26But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’

28 Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ 29He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. 30But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ 32When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’

I find in my life I don’t try to walk on water, and I don’t know if Jesus really intended that to be the dare. I think the dare was to come to Jesus. Let me put it this way. I don’t try to walk on the water, and don’t feel called or dared to walk on water.  But I find myself in the water anyway. I find myself caught up in the anxiety of life. I find myself in the whirling storms I never intend to be in. I don’t have to walk on water and sink for that to happen, life does that for me – that is, life plunges me in the drink and all I can do is swim or sink.

Isn’t that like us… we are hit with a blow that knocks us out of our comfortable boats and the next thing the eddies of life’s whirlpools try to take us under.

Deaths and diagnoses and dilemmas.

How is God daring you so God can give you a redemption story? Is that how God is daring you, not to walk on the water because let’s face it, that to me seems like an unreasonable demand. But maybe the dare is this – just keep your eyes on Jesus, make him front and center,

30But when Peter noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ 32When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’

Doesn’t this make more sense. There’s Peter in the drink… why – he took his eyes off Jesus and put them on the storm.  But there was Jesus. Reaching out his hand, he caught Peter.

This passage… for me… only makes sense if Peter would have stayed in the boat.  Peter felt abandoned in the boat. I believe that is why Jesus said You of little faith, why did you doubt?’

I don’t Jesus was scolding him for sinking – we do that wall the time. I believe Jesus said, You of little faith, why did you doubt?’  because Peter was meant not to showcase himself walking on water. All he was supposed to do was to invite and welcome Jesus in the boat. Why do I say this – because when Jesus is in the boat the wind stopped.  And maybe the message is that when we invite Jesus into the storm, maybe the storm itself isn’t immediately over, but the storm within ceases to rock us.

How about you – are you striving and worrying needlessly when you should be inviting Jesus in the boat with you?  See what the disciples did – they worshiped him.

When the storms hit, so often worship is the last resort and not the first thing we do. worship is meant to be an ongoing event – why – because it is the only thing we will be doing for eternity.  Amen.