Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Commands of Christ - Matthew 14:22-33

"Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God." -Matthew 14:22-33

To whom are these commands spoken?

One to the disciples: "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."

One to Peter: "Come."

What do these commands require?

Its fairly simple. Jesus wants His disciples to be happy and not afraid. He wants Peter to come out on the water, just like Peter asked.

What truths do we learn through these commands?

Even in the most turbulent times, we can look out across the waves and see Jesus. What are the waves that are tossing you around in life? Can you take a quick look outside the boat and see Jesus? You know what He is saying, don't you? "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." Listen to Jesus. Obey Him. Let Him carry you through this storm. The disciples were terrified. They didn't even recognize Jesus. They thought He was a ghost. But when Jesus finally got in the boat and the wind stopped, they realized who Jesus really is: the Son of God.

Secondly, Peter teaches us a lesson. When Jesus tells you to do something, keep your eyes fixed on Him. Peter was doing just great until he got his eyes on the situation around him. Peter saw the waves and that the wind was boisterous, and he became afraid. When he did this, he began to sink. Jesus was their to rescue Peter. We have no need to doubt Jesus. He is the Almighty. He is the Son of God--the Maker of all things. While you are peering out of the boat to see if Jesus is really there, stop and ask Him if He wants you to get out of the boat. Humanly speaking, getting out of the boat is probably the dumbest thing that you could do. But look to Jesus and see what He wants you to do.

What were the blessings of obedience and the consequence of disobedience?

Peter learned that when he disobeyed he began to sink. Jesus told him not to be afraid and Peter was afraid. Peter also teaches us that the blessing of obedience is learning who Jesus really is. He is the Son of God. When we obey Him, we learn this.

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