Like any other account in the Bible this story also must be interpreted in its own context in order to understand the author’s original intentions. The story unfolds followed by a messianic uproar, (John 6:15). In response Jesus immediately sent his disciples away while he dismissed the crowd and went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.
Why did Jesus evade such a good opportunity? Being the king of Jews sure sounds impressive. That was not his mission however. God’s plan for him was to suffer and die so that we shall be saved. Likewise God has a plan for each one of us. He wants us to stick to the plan before he can bless us. This chapter teaches us three important principles about honoring the divine plan.
Text: Matthew 14:22-33
Read: Matthew 14:22-23
A. The crowds wanted Jesus to be king over them. This was surely a distraction because it was not the plan Father had for him in mind.
B. Jesus’ response was two fold. He immediately withdrew from the source of distraction (crowd) and went before God in prayer.
C. His principles were simple but powerful. Distractions must be put to death, mercilessly. Prayer helps to remain focused.
Read: Matthew 14:24-31
A. Matthew then turns to the disciples in the boat. The boat was in the midst of the sea, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
B. We are introduced to 2 major sources of fear. Atmosphere (…But when he saw the wind he was afraid…) and satanic manifestations (…It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear…)
C. God’s plan for you cannot come into fulfillment without you. The plan can never come to pass If you allow fear to prevent you from playing your role.
A. What the disciples saw was an ability attributed only to God, (Job 9:2). They realized Jesus is God in flesh.
B. They immediately fell before him in worship as a symbol of placing their entire beings at the disposal of God’s will and plan.
C. Worship must be sincere. The true worshiper acknowledges the superiority of God’s will over his own.
I. Evade distractions
A. God has plans to prosper you, give you hope and a future, (Jeremiah 29:11).
B. Suffering always precedes blessings, (Philippians 2:9-11).
C. Satan will always present us with an easy way out. Don’t be deceived.
D. Evade distractions immediately.
E. Spend time alone with God. It gives strength to remain focused.
II. Master your fears
A. Like Peter all of us start with faith and a great sense of excitement.
B. Before fear takes control over us half way through at the site of violent wind and waters.
C. When you see the winds, walk in faith. Let faith control your fear. Not vise versa.
III. Worship him
A. Worship is more than singing hymns on a Sunday morning with our hands lifted.
B. It’s not that simple. Genuine worship takes 2 things. First you must admit Jesus’ Lordship over your life. (Compare Matthew 8:27 with Matthew 14:33)
C. Second, you need to surrender yourself unto Jesus. Just confessing his Lordship over your life isn’t enough.
Image: Kevin Krejci