If you are a pastor or lay person who wants to use this to preach in church – that is why I posted it. I don’t care about credit, I only care that God’s word is preached and Christ is glorified. I pray He uses this sermon in a mighty way through you. You have my permission to alter it and use it however God leads you. God bless you in your ministry. You can also bookmark this to check out the other free written sermons on my blog.
5. Jesus walking on the water –
First let me tell you what this is not:
This is not the story of Jesus sleeping in the boat and there’s a storm, and the disciples are afraid and they wake Jesus up and he calms the storm. Sometimes Jesus calms the storm, but this is not a story of Jesus calming the storm.
This is not the story of the disciples seeing something they can’t make out and Jesus says it’s me and Peter says if it’s you, then call me to come to you and He calls Peter out to walk on the water. Sometimes Jesus calls us to step out of the boat, but this is not the story of Jesus calling us to step out of the boat.
This is not the story of the fishermen finishing cleaning their nets after they’ve been out fishing in the boat and Jesus calling them to leave their boats behind. Sometimes Jesus calls us to leave everything behind, but this is not the story of Jesus calling us to leave our boat.
People who really study the Bible in depth are sometimes bothered trying to make everything fit together. Here’s a story of Jesus walking on the water. Is this the time Jesus commanded Peter to step out of the boat? May be. But sometimes the writers of the Gospel are wanting to stress a point. So instead of trying to draw other boat stories into this one, I wanted to try to figure out what John is saying in this boat story or event.
Here’s what I came up with: This is the story of Jesus coming at a rough time in a miraculous way and coming up along side them, joining them, and getting them through the rough time. This is the story of Christ getting in our boat and giving us peace even in the midst of the storm. – Teaching us that when we have Christ with us, we have everything. Here’s the thing about the disciples at this time: They didn’t have Christ with them yet unless he was physically present with them. It wasn’t until Jesus ascended to the father that He said he would send the Holy Spirit to live in us.
So that, NOW, no matter the circumstances, we who are his disciples now have Christ with us always and he will bring us through it – When we are His and He is ours, we have a song of victory.
Paul Acts 16:25 – But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns. – They’re in prison, yet they have Christ with them, and they’re singing and praying – when you have Christ with you, in you, you have a song in your heart, a song of victory, not a song of defeat, no matter the circumstances. Do we still cry out to Him? Yes. And He lets us know he’s with us and He gets us through whatever it is.
There’s a story John Wesley tells from when he’s on a ship that’s crossing the ocean going from England to Georgia in the Colonies. Wesley had never been on a ship before. They’re 7 days from land and it’s the third and most violent storm. They’re worried that the ship is going to be lost in a storm at sea. “The sea spilled over the ship, split the mainsail, and poured between the decks as if the great deep had already swallowed us up.” The English passengers screamed in fright; the German Moravians calmly continued singing the psalm without intermission. Wesley was impressed with their faith in the face of death. He saw the difference in the hour of trial, between those who truly knew Jesus Christ and those who didn’t. Even though he’d been a preacher for some time now, he didn’t have that faith.
It’s almost as if The Moravians had Christ with them, in their boat, in themselves. You could say, Wesley had seen Jesus walk on the water, but hadn’t let Christ in his boat.
The miracle then for the disciples was the fact that Jesus was there walking on the water. The miracle for those alive today who believe that Jesus existed but don’t know him as Savior was that Jesus was walking on the water.
The miracle for me and you who know Him as Savior is that Jesus has joined us, He’s joined me and He’s joined you just as surely as he joined the disciples in that boat, yet even in a more miraculous way. That’s the miracle I see coming out of this.
When he joins us, when we willingly receive Him, He enters into our very being. He joins those who put their faith and trust in Him in such a way that no matter what we go through, we have a song in our heart because we have Him, Christ, in our heart, within us. Like the Moravians who Wesley witnessed, that’s the miracle for all of us who call him Savior. And Jesus knows what we need when we need it.
Who has a GPS? Our GPS hasn’t been updated since we bought it. When I cross the new bridge in Parkersburg (Rt. 50) the GPS shows I’m driving across the river. I’m on a road, it’s just that the GPS doesn’t know it. It looks like on the GPS that I’m driving on the water, but I’m not.
In this miracle, Jesus isn’t out there walking on a sand bar, it’s not an illusion. He’s walking on the water. And He’s not out on the water going, “Where am I?” He doesn’t need to recalculate.
Why do you think Jesus was out there walking on the water? He knows what the disciples need. He knows they need Him and He’s there for them, it Just happens to be they’re 3-4 miles from shore in the water.
How cool would it be today if this happened? If the disciples were in say, the space shuttle and there’s space debris coming at them and there Jesus is, walking in space. And he hops on the space shuttle. The fact that he’s out there without a space suit and without a space ship makes it pretty obvious he doesn’t need them!
On the water, Jesus doesn’t need to get into the boat. Jesus is doing just fine without them or their boat- It’s that they need Jesus.
So many people know Jesus is there, just outside their boat, but they won’t let Him get in. He wants to get in, and we’ve established that he doesn’t need to get in for His own sake, it’s for the sake of us on the boat!
Yet when we allow Him, He gets in our boat and allows us to do His work even though He can do it quite fine without us.
Jesus needs us? ROFL. He ALLOWS US the privilege of being used for His glory in His work.
But letting him get on the boat isn’t even enough. For a Christian, it’s just a step.
It’s not enough to just let him on our boat, but we’ve got to let him steer, letting Him be the one who yells the commands, we no longer insist on being the captain, but we become the deck hand!
Giving up control is where it’s at. He knows where we’re going. We don’t know where we’re going. We just know we’re supposed to be going, He knows WHERE.
When they willingly received them into the boat – BAM – they’re where they were going. I’m thinking teleporting. But that’s only where they were going right now. The Christian life on this earth is not about a daily destination, it’s about the journey. Tomorrow he’ll direct us somewhere else.
They hadn’t arrived at their final destination – Jesus still had places he wanted to take them. When we have Christ guiding us, He’ll take us places we wouldn’t steer into ourselves.
Heard a sermon once where James McDonald said there are preachers that will tell you if you have faith, Jesus won’t steer you into the storms. That’s not right. Sometimes you’ll see the waterfall ahead, and you’ll think, “Jesus won’t let me go over the waterfall, but man he’s taking me awful close.” And next thing you know, you’re going over the waterfall. You’re looking straight down falling at the same speed as the water rushing toward to pool of water at the bottom and you’re thinking, “Jesus, what are you doing taking me over the waterfall?”
Once when I was white water rafting – we stopped at this place and there was a big tall rock that you jumped off, when you jump you go pretty deep in the water, you have to hold your breath for a long time, but then after what seems like an eternity, you pop up from the water, gasping for breath, and you appreciate fresh air so much more than you ever have, and you realize you made it through. THAT’S what it’s like sometimes when Jesus is steering our boat. Even when He doesn’t calm the storm, he can maneuver WITHIN the storm so much better than we can.
Today – Some of you are sitting out there realizing “I need to give up control of my own boat.” You’re already a Christian, you have Jesus in the boat, but you’re the captain and you consider Him your 1st Mate, Jesus is my co-pilot. You like giving Jesus the orders.
Going back to white water rafting – When you’re rafting, You have a guide who steers the boat, what do you do? PADDLE. Our job isn’t to steer, it’s to paddle. He might say right side forward, left side backward, he might say all forward. He gives the directions and steers. You paddle. The guide knows the river. You don’t know the river! He knows where the rocks are below the surface. He knows where the whirlpools are that will suck you under.
You need to start following orders and you need to do it by saying Yes to whatever he’s calling you to. Aye, captain! Yes, Jesus.
Some of you need to start by letting him on your boat. He’s saying, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” It might not immediately calm the storm. Satan may stir up the waters even more so your ship tosses worse than it ever has. Let Jesus on board and let Him take the wheel of the ship. He can get you safely past the obstacles, safely through the seas.