August 7, 2011
Matthew 14:22-33

From the time he wakes up until he goes to bed, my 18-month-old son runs all over the house and runs into stuff. Once, he climbed up the couch and managed to get onto the dining table and just pounced. Fortunately, I was ready to catch him, knowing he was about to try out as an acrobat!

Yet, when we were on a walk, a few steps ahead of me as usual, he spotted a dog coming toward him. At that, he turned and ran into my arms. He seems to have an unquestioned trust in me as his father to catch him and protect him. He doesn’t trust anyone as much as he does me.

Who has our unquestioned trust? Jesus expects us to trust Him completely without an ounce of doubt. Look at all the miracles recorded in the first three gospels and notice what Jesus said before or after performing several miracles. He told the witnesses to the miracles, “Your faith has made you whole” (Matthew 9:22; Mark 5:34 and Luke 18:42).

Faith is always important to Jesus. The author of Hebrews (Hebrews 11:6) said that it is impossible to please God without faith. Jesus often responded to the faith of people. In our text, Matthew records the story of Jesus walking on water and Peter’s faith response. The preceding passage talks about the miracle of Jesus feeding more than 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves, which means the miracle was fresh on their minds; the miracle of Jesus walking on water happened just a few hours after the previous miracle.

I. Faith’s Vision (v. 26)
The disciples saw Jesus walking and thought He was a ghost. How do we see Jesus? How do we perceive Jesus after reading His Word? How do we see Him after witnessing His guidance and miraculous deeds in our own lives during the past months and years?
In John 20:29, Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Augustine said, “Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of faith is to see what we believe.”

II. Faith’s Persuasion and Embrace (vv. 28-30)
Seeing the Lord coming toward them, Peter asked Jesus to tell him to come to Him on water. In response to Peter’s plea, Jesus called him out of the boat, allowing Peter to become the only other person to walk on water!

Is your faith persuasive? Jesus in His parable of the Persistent Widow in Luke 18:1-8 encouraged His listeners to be persistent. In verse 29, Peter embraced the command that Jesus gave him and began to walk toward Jesus on water. When he noticed the wind, he became scared and began to doubt. He took his eyes off Jesus and began to fear his situation instead of holding fast to his faith in the Lord.

The author of Hebrews reminds us we need to stand firm in our faith, saying to us in Hebrews 10: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful” (v. 23); “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded” (v. 35); “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised” (v. 36).
As the great reformer John Calvin once said, “Faith is not a distant view, but a warm embrace of Christ.”

III. Faith’s Confession (v. 33)
After Jesus helped Peter to the boat, everyone in the boat worshiped Him saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” You believe and therefore speak what you believe. 2 Corinthians 4:13 says, “It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ Since, we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak.” Who do you say Jesus is?

An unknown author said, “Little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your soul.” To live by faith is to live joyfully, to live with assurance, untroubled by doubts and with complete confidence.

When you gaze at Jesus, look to Him with faith. Picture Him as if you were once again a child, coming close to Him and feeling Him wrap you up in a loving embrace. In order to please God, we must have faith as a child. Faith honors God, and God honors faith.

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