Sunday, April 24, 2005

Jesus Walks Upon the Water

Mark 6:45-52; Matt. 14:22-33; Jn. 6:16-21
I.
Introduction
There is a joke told about 3 preachers who went fishing. While in the
middle of the lake, the Methodist
preacher stood up and exclaimed, "The Lord just told me to walk on the
water" after which he stepped out of
the boat and took several steps out into the deep and then returned.
Being impressed with such a feat a few
moments later the Baptist preacher stood up and said, "The Lord just
told
me to step out on faith and walk on
the water." Doing in like manner what the Methodist preacher did. No
longer than the Baptist preacher
returned to the boat the church of Christ preacher got up and said, "If
y'all can do it I can too," after which he
stepped out made a terrible splash and immediately started crying for
help. Having been rescued by the other
two preachers, shivering the wet preacher asked his friends, "How in
the
world did y'all do that?" Upon which
they replied, "Well with God all things are possible, but if you had
noticed those big rocks just under the
surface of the water we were stepping on out there that might have
helped
too."
Today we are going to look at Jesus walking on the water.
A. People wants to recreate the Jesus of the Bible.
1. After the feeding of the 5000, the multitude had intentions to
take
Jesus by force and make him king.
a. Little did they know they couldn't make him something that he
already was.
2. They wanted liberty from the grip of the Roman economy.
a. They paid tribute to them, their men had become corrupt from
collecting taxes from their brethren,
although they were not in want, they did not have what they desired,
TOTAL FREEDOM.
3. Seeing the miracles Jesus performed, he would be the ideal king.
a. He could feed the army, heal the wounded. He was perfect for their
ideals.
B. Jesus proved that he cannot be corrupted by the intentions of man,
regardless how noble they may be.
1. He refuses to bend to the glory of war and accolades of men, but
pursued his goal to become glorified of
the Father in a way which will draw all men unto him (Jn. 12:32).
2. The apostles no doubt were miffed at Jesus because he sent them
away.
a. He had Simon the Zealot, James and John the sons of thunder, Judas
Iscarot, who's heart was fickle and
unstable.
b. They perhaps couldn't understand that with such a following, why
would he not take the reigns.
3. Carnal minded men has great difficulties accepting the spiritual
desires of God.
a. Carnal minded men want TOTAL FREEDOM - freedom from restraints.
C. Our lesson deals with three phases the disciples went through that
night in order to rid themselves of a
hardened heart (Mk. 6:52).
1. First they were "without Jesus" in the mist of a demon possessed
sea.
2. Second, they came in contact with the "unrecognizable Jesus" as
they
consider him to be a ghost.
3. Third, they were "of good cheer" when they were reunited with
Jesus.
II. The church can be of good cheer when they are known doing what
their teacher taught them to do,
pray.
A. After his great miracle, Jesus needed to spend time in communion
with his Father.
1. Are we above this example? We achieve great things for Jesus, are
we
failing in our prayer life?
2. It was through prayer that the church became cheerful after the
release of Peter from prison (Acts 12).
a. It was through prayer that the mouths of lions was kept shut which
brought cheer to the king of Babylon
realizing the power of Daniel's God to deliver (Dan. 6:16).
B. Prayer was Christ's very breath.
1. He prayed unselfishly (Lk. 22:32 for Peter).
2. He prayed forgivingly (Lk. 23:34 o the cross).
3. He prayed earnestly (Lk. 22:44 in the garden).
4. He prayed submissively (Mt. 11:26; 26:39, 52) [Hendrickson as
quoting Speer].
5. We can be a cheerful church when we pray (1,2,3,4).
III. Let's observe the disciples out on the possessed sea (Mark
6:45-52).
A. First, they were not in the presence of Jesus and the wind blew
very
hard against them.
1. No doubt, as the other time when the sea was raging, this event
may
well have been orchestrated by Satan
(Mt. 8:23ff.).
a. It is easier to follow Jesus when in the presence of other
disciples, but let us get away from them, the
winds begin to blow hard against us. Satan fires off his missiles.
b. Here the disciples were learning what it means to walk by faith and
not by sight.
They had Jesus the other time, now they were not in his presence.
2. Mark records Jesus saw the boat was being battered while he was on
land.
a. Here we recall the supernatural nature of Jesus, able to see all
the
great things we do as well as the
struggles we encounter.
b. He still sees all today.
c. He knows when we are being battered for standing for the truth,
loving the unlovable, trying to keep our
tongues quiet when it would be so easy to "tell all we know."
3. Mark also records that they were straining at the oars (v. 48).
a. The oars were literally bending from the exertion put out by the
disciples in trying to reach the other side.
b. Jesus, all knowing, all loving, is not knave to think that exertion
on our part is
unholy. (Phil. 2:12; 2 Thess. 2:13; Jn. 9:4).
c. Brethren, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be
diligent
that ye may be found of him in peace,
without spot, and blameless (2 Pet. 3:14).
d. Don't give in to the strain at the oars, Jesus is watching.
B. Now the scene changes to the disciples coming in contact with the
unrecognizable Jesus.
1. Jesus comes to them between 3 and 6:00 a.m.
a. Through the overcast sky they were able to see an image appearing
from afar on the lake. With his robe
flapping in the wind, and hair whipping from the mighty gusts upon the
lake they become afraid and are
looking for a place run and hide. They began to cry out in fear. Was it
human, or was it a demon or ghost?
b. I recall a time when my brother and I was zooming up a creek
channel
about 50 mph. Ahead of us
appeared to be the end of the creek where there were some standing tree
stumps. He made no intention of
slowing down. I was getting ancy, and began looking for a quick exit,
in
case he didn't slow down. And slow
down he didn't. 50 yards from the nearest tree trunk I was almost out
the
back of the boat when suddenly he
made a sharp right turn and continued up the channel for another 1/2
mile. I didn't feel like kissing no tree
trunk and I'm sure the disciples didn't want to hang around to find out
what they were going to encounter.
2. Many times it appears that disaster is about to strike, (traffic
problems, example)
a. Serious illness, family difficulties, country's anxieties over
political situations.
b. We cry out among ourselves but could it be that the unrecognizable
Jesus is in our mist?
c. As I study the history of the Bible I see God always reminding man
through adverse
situations that he is still in control. So it is pointless to be afraid
(Jn. 14:1; 16:33).
3. Jesus calms their fears - Be of good cheer -1 AM. Mark's language
implies that he wanted them to know that
they were in the presence of something more than just a fictitious
spirit, they were in the presence, of the I AM.
Therefore, there was no need for alarm.
4. Mark and John records that when Jesus appeared to them he appeared
as if to pass them by (Mk. 6:48).
a. Song, "Oh pass me not my gentle Savior."
b. Jesus sought out a favorable response before he will enter the boat
you are sailing.
c. One may attain comfort by psychologist, doctors, financial
security,
and Jesus has appeared many times unto you
by means of preaching, fellow brethren, natural wonders. You bend your
oars against the waves of thunder. You
must invite him in the boat you must accept him as divine, as the I AM,
the one who walks on the water, bends the
wind, casts out demonic spirits, heals the untouchable and loves the
despised and rejected.
d. When are you going to invite him into your heart. He will pass on
by
and allow you to believe the lies you have
heard about him and his church. If you haven't, don't let this hour
pass
until you have cried out from a broken and
contrite heart, Lord Jesus come save my soul. I will do that which you
command of me, for you have the words of
eternal life.
5. Matthew records Peter's famous statement of the hour, "if you are
the I AM bid me come to you."
a. He did. He climbed out of the boat, set his foot on the cool
surface
of the water and it sustained him. He began
to walk toward Jesus, but Satan had other plans, he distracted Peter,
causing him to look about his environment then
sent forth a wave that made courageous Peter doubt. Peter began to sink
but he knew who to call upon for a quick
rescue.
b. I can't criticize Peter for I've sank a few times myself, We all
have, and Jesus said it is
because we have little faith (Mt. 14:31).
C. Our lesson comes to a close with the cheer filled disciples
reunited
with their master.
1. As he enters the boat, the wind ceases, they are so amazed, they
then worshipped him as the son of God (Mt.
14:33). a. It finally dawns on them just who is this Jesus of
Nazareth.
2. They wanted to recreate Jesus and help him become the physical
king
they wanted him to be. Now they realize,
they can't mess with him. He is in command. He can walk on water,
a. Jesus had to arouse them from their spiritual drowsiness. It took
this lesson to teach them about himself. What
does Jesus have to do to us to wake us up? Why recreate him, he is
perfect. All we need to do is invite him into our
boat.
b. Their hardness of heart (Mk. 6:52) was not like the Pharisees, who
were calloused and filled with unbelief and
hatred. They had faith, . . . little faith, but with that little faith,
all things are possible with God.
c. From this cool dip in the mist of the sea Peter, in time was able
to
confess Jesus to be the Son of God under
stressful situations (Matt. 16:16).
d. From our struggles upon the lake of life we too will be able to
confess Jesus wholeheartedly because we know
him to be the great I AM.

No comments: