My text tonight begins out of Matthew Chapter 14. My goal tonight is that we will see the power of the Words of Jesus. There is power in the Word, I believe we know that, but that power is for us to do the miraculous. To be life changing, not only for us, but for us to speak out and show that life giving power to others.
Looking at Matthew 14, I am thinking that this was about 2/3 into the ministry of Jesus. In this chapter many things were happening. John the Baptist was beheaded by King Herod. Jesus healed a multitude of people, who then became the 10 to 15 thousand people it is estimated that Jesus fed with the five loaves and two fish, and it is the story of Jesus walking on water in the Sea of Galilee. The portion of scripture I wish to talk about tonight. Let’s read that scripture starting in Matthew Chapter 14, starting with verse 22.
“22 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. 23 After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.
(Jesus and His disciples were near the city of Bethsaida, on what was called the Plains of Bethsaida outside the City. It was an open area that is a real fertile and real beautiful area. Right nearby is a mountainous hilly area. That’s where Jesus walked to.)
When evening came, He was there alone. 24 But the boat was already over a mile[b] from land,[c] battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. 25 Around three in the morning,[d] He came toward them walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and cried out in fear.
(a point here to show the supernatural power that Jesus lived in. He was up on a mountain, praying. It does not say how far up, but it does say “up on.” So Jesus walked down the mountain, then had to walk to the Lake, that is basically what the Sea of Galilee is, actually the correct name is Kinneret from the Old Testament, and even in modern times, the lake only being 13 miles long and 7 miles wide. But here is Jesus coming down the mountain, walking to the lake, then walks on the lake water during high winds in what I would think was in a short amount of time to get to the boat. This was an amazing display of the power of God.)
27 Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s You,” Peter answered Him, “command me to come to You on the water.” 29 “Come!” He said. And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strength of the wind,[e] he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me! 31 Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those in the boat worshiped Him and said, “Truly You are the Son of God!”
It’s like “wow” concerning Jesus walking on the water, but increasingly it something else of what the Disciple Peter did.
But so I don’t get ahead of myself here, again this was not just any water, but a water that is being buffeted by heavy winds (verse 24). As Jesus approaches the boat that carried His Disciples, they start freaking out, thinking they are seeing a ghost and some start to have a break down. That is the only way I can put it. If a guy is “crying out” he is in utter fear. They are thinking they are going to die. Why would you yell out? When I was younger, that is why I would yell. Maybe that is just me.
These guys who have been with Jesus, like 10 Chapters before this. Involved in about 2/3 of Jesus’ ministry. I guess they forgot His teaching on “not to worry about your life.” But anyway, Jesus probably seeing and sensing their fear, says to them, “take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
I am figuring that was enough, but right after that, the Disciple Peter says this, “Lord, if it is you,” (I am wondering if Peter is still doubting at this point because he says “Lord if it is you?”) then says, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
Two things here, one, Peter knew the power of Jesus. He knew that only Jesus could cause him to be able to do what he would do next. Peter said something that had to of made Jesus feel good, “if it is you, tell me to come to you”. Peter is expressing some faith here. Because Peter and the other disciples the following day had been told by Jesus, “You of little faith” in the feeding of the 5000 men, now Peter is doing something extremely profound by acknowledging the power of the Word of Jesus to one, show the other Disciples it was actually Jesus, maybe, but also to acknowledge the power of Jesus through Him to copy what Jesus was doing.
Some say, Peter was impulsive for doing this, and Peter was an impulsive guy. Peter to me at that time was all over the place concerning his faith. But as we have read, the other disciples were not far off. Some of the things Peter said and did with Jesus goes against what you may think what an Apostle should be like, but Peter who I relate to was like many men and women who think in the flesh it appears a lot of the time, but has glimpses of the knowledge of God pop out here and there, but only after a heart changing encounter with Jesus and being filled with the Holy Spirit, do we come into alignment with the Words of Jesus with boldness. The Apostle Peter showing that in Acts Chapter 2.
When Peter spoke out to Jesus from the boat, he was well aware of the power of God in Jesus as I said earlier. Being one of the close three disciples, he probably saw more than any of the others what Jesus could do. Peter had also been sent out by Jesus with the other disciples to heal the diseased and the sick, drive out evil spirits, and raise the dead. So he himself had been used by God with power through Jesus. But his statement “tell me to come to you” has power for us today.
I believe Peter having a pretty good measure of belief at that point, could have just stepped out of the boat. He could have thought, “since Jesus was doing it, I can do it.” But Peter knew something. He knew the power of the Words of Jesus. He knew that if Jesus spoke, it would happen. Because right after Peter began to follow Jesus with his brother Andrew, he watched Jesus heal every disease and sickness among the people. Also those who suffered severe pain; those demon possessed, having seizures, and the paralyzed, Jesus healed them. That from Matthew chapter 4. Peter said, “Command me.” In other words, “speak your power and it will happen.”
So Jesus said “Come!” One word, One word full of the power and anointing from God. So Peter steps out of the boat and walked on water toward Jesus. That walking on water by Peter, let alone Jesus walking on water, totally goes against anything we can really imagine in our physical world. But again, Peter knew Jesus. He knew Jesus did not walk in any pattern of this world. Quite evident of what Peter saw being with Jesus maybe two or more years at that point.
I believe Peter also knew that to be with Jesus, he could walk as Jesus did, or would walk like Jesus did. Peter was the only one on that boat that was recorded as having any faith during that event. He was the only one who stood up. Then Jesus did what Peter asked.
Jesus bent the natural again. He bent it when He walked on water, and He bent it when Peter stepped out from Peter’s spontaneous faith. And at the end of the whole event, all every one could say in the boat, was that Jesus was the Son of God.
The Words of Jesus are not from the natural world, they are from heaven. So they are the Words of God. They have power. Jesus did things that could not be explained by the learned men of His day. They could only be explained by Jesus himself, of who He was. That He was of the Father. And many people believed because of what He did and said.
Today, Jesus’ Word still cries out, “Come!” It still has the same power that it had so many years ago when Peter called out to Him and Jesus spoke.
And those who are listening, must take in consideration that Jesus the Son of God, our Lord and Savior wants His Bride, the church, to be like Peter, and take His Words, and walk. Amen
But we have to consider the rest of the story. When we continue to read, it did not take long for the disciple Peter to take his eyes off of the prize. Jesus. The author and finisher of Peter’s faith. Peter did not keep his eyes on Jesus, it says in verse 30,
Mat 14:30 “But seeing that the wind was strong, he was afraid. And beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me! “
Peter had faith to walk out of the boat, but did not have faith to continue because of perceived obstacles.
I imagine he had his eyes on Jesus, and we do not know how far out Peter walked, or how far Jesus was from the boat, but probably out of his side vision, or maybe what he saw on the path, Peter’s physical nature took hold of him and he lost that glimpse of the truth that came from what Jesus spoke.
Sound familiar? Call me Peter Jr. God gives me a vision through the Holy Spirit, He opens doors for me, I walk through the doors and see incredible things, I see the miraculous, maybe I have been healed and felt the power of God, I can continue with a list on what Jesus has done for me, then I seem to be out on a boat and the winds are blowing, and Jesus says come, and either I stand there and stare at Him, or I blindly take a step and fall head first into the water sinking, and flailing my arms thinking I am going to drown. Then Jesus grabs me by the pants, and pulls me up and He has to be shaking His head thinking what is up with this, and I am feeling really small, and dumb, and faithless, and well, I think some of you have been there, and Jesus is looking at me with those loving eyes, and says come on. Let’s try this again.
In Matthew 14 verse 31, it says:
“And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him; and said to him, Little-faith! Why did you doubt? 32 And when they had come into the boat, the wind ceased.”
The wind ceased, all was well, but why did Peter doubt, why do I doubt, why do you? Peter loved Jesus, he knew the words of Jesus, he had faith in Jesus that Jesus would do what He said He would do, but it wasn’t until his encounter with Jesus did Peter walk with unfettered faith.
Peter did not do any wrong when he started to sink, he did not fail either, and we may think that. We may think that about ourselves. It was part of his journey to become what God had called him to be in the scheme of God’s overall plan. We stumble, Jesus picks us up, and we walk with Him, and the process goes on, and as we walk with Jesus, as we are in His presence, He changes us.
Jesus wants us to know that we are on a journey. We will have the boat experience; but those experiences are what shapes us to be a part of that overall plan of God too. We take different paths with different experiences, with many of us having different teachers, and pastors, schooling, and life experiences that have shaped us to who we are, but overall, Jesus wants us on a path of encounter with Him so He can use those experiences to grow us.
Because those encounters that only come when you make time Him, shape our spiritual reality to walk in a faith like an Apostle Peter had, or an Apostle Paul had, where we can stand up in the boat, and when Jesus says “Come” we step out onto the water, bend the natural, walk like Jesus did to change the world around us. Defy the natural with the power of the supernatural God.
What Jesus was doing with His Disciples was molding them into a people who would take His Word, and show that the physical world or the physical kingdom of this world has no power over the Kingdom of God. That the Kingdom of God that was now there, was now the pre-eminent Kingdom of this earth. When Jesus rose from the dead with the keys to everything, He gave them to us to manifest the Kingdom of God on this earth to spiritually and physically eradicate the darkness of Satan’s kingdom. To alter the perceived kingdom of this earth from darkness to light so people will be free to come to Jesus.
When men and women of God believe that, when we have that life changing encounter, just like the Apostle Peter exhibited, we will walk on water no matter the wind or the waves. That is what Jesus is trying to tell us today.
I was speaking to a Pastor this week, and he said as I have been sensing in the Spirit, that the Lord is speaking to us that He wants us at a higher level of spiritual revelation and power.
There is so much that we still have not received from Him by revelation of knowledge concerning His Kingdom, and what we can accomplish through Him on this earth. Especially here in this city. He says, “I want you to walk on water.” “It is within your grasp if you go after me.” Nothing is impossible for us who believe. Everything we have read in this Word, we can accomplish if we only believe, and some of this stuff seems crazy to us, but God says that He is not of this earth, or the earthly physical thought that seems to permeate the church today, because what He can accomplish is not held back by the physical standards we have placed on ourselves. Sin has kept us in this physical box, but in the ways and life of Heaven, there are no bounds. We are bound by our own physical thoughts, and ways, but what is available to us is beyond that. Like the power to heal the sick. Seeing blind eyes see. The deaf hear, and the lame walk.
2Pe 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
Peter had seen the life of Jesus, experienced the life of Jesus, and was now living the life of Jesus. Peter found that everything he needed to live came from the divine power. And through the divine power, his nature was changed, from the nature of this world, to the divine nature of goodness with power because of the promises of God’s Word, so that he could reach the potential that he was called to. Just like us!
The Apostle Peter said in 1 Peter 2:9 to us:
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession;”
A royal priesthood of a holy nation, are those who see God face to face, like the high priests of old in the Temple. Having direct access to the throne of God. We have “that privilege” as Scofield said in his commentary, like the high priest that we can enter into the Holy of Holies to speak to God. So we have the access to possess and employ the Words of Jesus without restraint because who we are in Christ because of direct access to Him. But we must go to Him.
We must cast off the restraints of our physical thinking and look at Jesus and step out of the boat. I truly believe that in this day, when we who are full of the Holy Spirit, if we in faith step out when the Holy Spirit says, “Come” or maybe it is “Go”, we are going to do things that we have only read about, or heard, and see the power of God move to the point that we will be astonished ourselves what He has done.
I’ll tell you this. Those guys on the boat with Peter had to be astonished. They had to be astonished seeing Jesus walking on water, but even more that as a mere human, Peter did the same thing. And we know from the scripture it says “Then those who were in the boat worshipped Him, saying “Truly you are the Son of God.”
And when we possess the Kingdom, and exhibit the Kingdom, no less is going to happen. We will be astonished at what God is going to do in our lives, the promises and words that will be revealed, but also how we will be used to bring the Kingdom of heaven to this earth to cause people to believe. It’s coming, we need to be ready and shake off the things of this world and run to Jesus so we can have heaven experiences so we will have no doubt that if Jesus is standing on the water, and we see Him, and we will say Jesus, “tell me to come to you on the water”, and Jesus will say, “Come”, and we will step out, and we will walk, and the wind and the waves will have no effect, and we will see darkness fall before us, and the light of Christ flood whatever He puts before us to bring His kingdom into, and we hear people say, “There really is a God! And I want to know Him.” Amen!