Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus Walks On The Water
These two incidents, the feeding of the multitude and His coming to them on water, are to reveal unto us of the power that Jesus has for us, for in Him we are given all the provision and protection that we need.

One of the most notable church Fathers, Augustine, who lived from 354-430 AD, made this oft quoted statement: "God, you have made us for yourself, and we are restless until we find our rest in Thee." A look at the first part of the Bible in the book of Genesis shows us of the original rest that we as humanity enjoyed with our Creator, but is also tells of the breach that came into that relationship through our fall into sin, The first three chapters of the Bible tell of Creation, Fall and Redemption. The rest of the Bible records of how God brought forth His plan of salvation in the midst of a sinful and fallen world through resurrected by Christ but yet sinful and fallen people, such as ourselves.

When we look at the overall theology of the Bible, we could outline it with three statements concerning the nature of God: " He is for us, He is with us and He is in us." From the time that He sought Adam and Eve who were hiding in the garden of Eden because of fear that overcame them due to their spiritual nakedness before their Creator, we as humans have struggled and continue to struggle in our understanding of who God is. One of our greatest tendencies and weaknesses is to make God be somebody who He is not, by creating Him in our own image, not knowing or understanding who He is according to what He has revealed about Himself. Most often this occurs because of our lack of knowledge of who He says He is from the biblical record.

We make Him in our own image when we do not seek Him first and His righteousness, and then trust in His Provision and Protection. Rather, we dictate to Him how our life should go and then seek and follow Him in relation to how He provides for us. That is backwards and living in the understanding will always bring about uncertainty, doubt, fear, mistrust and disillusionment in God and toward His ways.

Therefore, we could conclude that:

When we live in a lack of knowledge of God, we will experience fear and anxiety for this life.
The more we know and experience of who God really is, the greater will be our peace and quietness here in this life, even in the midst of the storms.

Last week Pastor Doug spoke on the account of the feeding of the great mulititude in the desert. As I visited with Doug this week, he recounted the main parts of that which came forth from that message of the Lord.

"Jesus can take a little and make it into a lot. Go to Jesus, trust Him, even as the people ran along the shore to where He was. We trust Him with our souls, but worry too much about our everyday life. Those who have not yet come to experience the grace of God in forgiveness and peace are invited to come and those who live in this grace are invited to come to Him for all their needs."

Moving on to the next section of this Gospel, Matthew 14:22-33, we read that, as the people considered the left overs from the five loaves of bread by which Jesus had fed the great multitude were put into 12 baskets, the Apostle John records in his Gospel: Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. John 6:14-15

The Gospel of John provides important information for us as we read that after the gathering of the leftovers, Jesus sent his disciples away in a ship to go to the other side of the lake while he sent the multitudes away. With John's additional information, it seems as if the people were looking for a deliverer, but they were looking for a king who would be similar to other earthly kings, one who would free them from the slavish rule of the Roman government of whom Caesar was king. Jesus sent his disciples out of that environment, They needed to be instructed away from the earthly impulses of those who were wanting to king Jesus right there. Jesus went into the mountain to pray. So as the night grew on Jesus was yet on the mountain praying and the disciples had gotten caught in a bad storm with winds and waves.

22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Most likely they were puzzled as to why their Master had sent them away in the boat after showing them His ability to provide food in abundance for many people. They may have just began to be excited about their King, but then they then Jesus constrained them to be sent away in a boat. They had not gone right away, for it was evening when they went down to the boat and rowed toward Capernaum for Jesus had not returned to them.

They must have been perplexed, for He was not acting like the king that in their minds He should be acting like. They had witnessed a miracle that day, they knew that the Scribes and Pharisees were against Him, and they perhaps wondered when He was going to break out and take charge of all things. They were yet looking at things through human eyes, not yet realizing the the cross would be his throne, that He came to this world to save those who were lost. They did not realize that He would exhibit His greatest power, not in destruction and rule, but for restoration and servanthood. Yes, He would rule as the King, but not according to human thinking. He would rule His creation by laying down His life for it. They had not yet made the connection between the bread the Moses had given their forefathers in the wilderness and this Man who is the Bread of Life, who came to give His Life for theirs. In the midst of this consternation, we find them in the roaring sea:

24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

Whatever their state of mind was, it was quickly changed as they rowed across the lake toward the other side, for their wondering of who this Jesus was was replaced by a fight for their lives. Where was Jesus now may have been there concern, and even though they were desperate in their thinking that they were alone, we know that they were not, as Mark's Gospel records: And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night (3 a.m.) he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. Mark 6:48

The Lord does not always come to us according to our timetable, but He is aware of our need, is watching and will come when He knows best.

KJV John 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.


KJV John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.

In John's Gospel, two instances of the Lord's waiting until the right time are recorded, In the first one it was years and in the second one it was only days, but it was according to the Lord's timetable.

26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

According to the mythology of that day, there was an understanding of ghosts which brought about fear, so to see an apparition walking on the water brought them to a place of fear and mystery.

But then the Voice, which cleared up the mystery, spoke to them, saying: "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid."

Let us think a little on this part of the account. Each of us have a voice that the Lord has given us to use in order to communicate with one another. We do not necessarily need to speak orally in prayer, but sometimes we do and sometimes we do not. But humanly speaking, it is usually necessary to communicate by speaking, esp when one is not able to see another, as on a telephone. For those with whom we are well acquainted, we are able to recognize them by simply hearing them speak. Likewise people are able to recognize us when we speak to them.

In relation to our text, could we say that the disciples recognized Jesus when He spoke to them since they had heard His voice before. But more than that, could we say that the content of the words was more important than the sound of the voice? Yes, I believe we could, for within those three short sentences a powerful message is given to the hearers, in that they are encouraged, the speaker identifies Himself and on this basis he tells them: Be not afraid," with the implication being, "you need not fear anything, for I am here with you."
Let us be counseled at this point that it is more the content of the words we speak than the actual sound of them that indicate what is in our heart. "For out of the abundance of the heart man speaks."

In the midst of all this, Peter, the impulsive, unpredictable and forward one yet in his life, responds:

28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. {boisterous: or, strong}
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

What is all this about? First of all, why did Jesus constrain them to go into the storm? Why does He allow storms into our lives?

Answer: To help us understand that He is Provider and our Protector in all things of life.
1. He protected them from the wrong influences by sending them away from the crowd.
2. They were brought to a need under His watchful eye.
3. He went to them according to His timing.
4. He did not force Himself on them
5. He responded quickly to their cries for help.

What was Peter up to? Why didn't Jesus stop Him from coming to Him instead of calling Him to come to Him? What is the reason? It concerns faith and the exercising of it so that it can be built up. What does the Bible say faith is?

ESV Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

1. Hope has been said to be faith looking backwards. Faith is believing what God says. Faith sees the reality of what God promises. Hope is the expected end that God says is ours already. It applies to any promise that God has given to us.

2.. Hope is a combination of doubt and presumption, but hope is what works towards transformation. We are transformed from trusting self to trusting Jesus.

Doubt: Will not happen

Presumption: I can do this, which is opposite of Hope which is based on the promises of God


KJV Matthew 14:28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou,(Doubt) bid me come unto thee on the water. (Presumption)

Jesus called for him come upon the water, to transform his doubt, but left him, unassured from without, to his own feelings as he saw the wind,to transform his presumption; while by stretching out His Hand to save him from sinking, and by the words of correction which He spake,

In our doubts He bears with us, (Lord, if it be thou,) allows to feel the results of our presumptions that we can live without Him, (bid me come unto thee on the water}, and through words of correction, reminds us that we walk by faith. (And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?)

In a sense we could say that Jesus allows us to dream in order to bring us to a deeper and greater realization of our need to trust Him in both provision and protection in our lives. He does not douse our dreams, but allows the exercies of hope to transform our doubts and presumptions toward greater trust in Him. When we were children, our parents allowed us to have our dreams, and they were careful to use these instances to help us to become more aware of the difference between which we we dreamed we could or should do, and that which was in practical and reasonable. When my son Jay was young, he liked to dig tunnels and had dreams of digging a long tunnel. He spent a lot of time digging, and as it went into the ground, I made sure that he had boards to protect him from a cavein, but eventually the day came when he filled it in and left off of that dream.

This seems to be what the Lord is teaching us here in this place, that hope keeps us going forward, and through His careful supervision of our lives, we are led toward greater trust and reliance in and on Him. The experience of the disciples and esp Peter give us valuable counsel as we journey with our Saviour in all seasons and times of life. Again, looking at Peter's experience as it is recorded:

KJV Matthew 14:28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou,(Doubt) bid me come unto thee on the water. (Presumption)

Jesus called for him come upon the water, to transform his doubt, but left him, unassured from without, to his own feelings as he saw the wind,to transform his presumption; while by stretching out His Hand to save him from sinking, and by the words of correction which He spake,

In our doubts He bears with us, (Lord, if it be thou,) allows to feel the results of our presumptions that we can live without Him, (bid me come unto thee on the water}, and through words of correction, reminds us that we walk by faith. (And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?)

He points us to faith!! Following are two recent happenings which we will place here for illustrative purposes for further illumination as to the lesson in this text and its meaning for us.They come from two different perspectives, as one is written after the "storm" and the other is written in the "storm."

On February 13, 1993, seven missionaries which included Dave and Barb Anderson, who have relatives in the Cokato area, boarded a plane on the Chukchi Peninsula near the Bering Strait to make a short flight across the Bering Sea back to Alaska. They had been involved in mission outreach to the Russian people who lived on that peninsula. Just before they left, seven empty gas cans had unexpectedly been put into the plane which added to the ten that were already board. As they flew across the Strait, one engine quit and then the other. The pilot began call out on the radio of his emergency, giving their location and made preparations for the landing on the sea, into water that was 36 degrees and in which a person would survive at best 15-20 minutes. As soon as they hit the water, they were told, "Grab a gas can and hold onto it." As they drifted, the youngest in the group began to shout "God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble."

An hour behind schedule, Bering Air pilot Terry was flying at 2000 feet when he saw something out of the corner of his eye, like a white plume of water shooting up. In an instant it was gone. He thought, "A whale spouting."

A minute later, his radio squacked: "Aircraft in difficulty...attempting a landing at Sledge Island...deviate your course..let me know if you spot the aircraft...

The pilot thought, "Could that spout of water been an aircraft hitting the water? He turned back. From there on began an amazing and heroic rescue story that resulted in all being rescued, even though being in the water far longer than was thought humanly possible.

I remember when Dave was telling the story in Plymouth of how when they knew that they were going to be rescued that there in the cold and frigid waters of the Bering Strait, they experienced the Presence of the Lord.

(Dave and his family travel to tell the of the great Provider and Protector, Jesus the Christ)


Monday, July 20, 2009 4:38 PM, CDT (from Natalie Matson's mom)

"The test results were not what we would have liked to hear. The two masses that were found are clusters of AML cells, Natalie's original disease. We went home for the weekend. We are now back at the Children's Hospital. As I am updating this she is having another MRI and an MRV( to look at her veins) done. She will be having another central line placed tomorrow and begin treatment. Natalie will need to have another bone marrow transplant for the best end results. It's a good thing God sees What is beyond today and knows what is best for each of us even when it's hard to understand.. Continuing on in the strength of the Lord. Thank you all for your prayers and words of comfort. Remember to live like today is the only day you have. Don't be afraid to really love the ones you have. God wants us to hve abundant joy each day, and He shows us how to smile through our tears and lets us laugh when it seems there shouldn't be much to laugh about. Our JOY is in JESUS not in the things we have here on earth. Nothing can take that joy unless we choose to let the things of life make us bitter instead of better. Trusting that God will be with each of you through what ever Trials you each may be facing in your own lives. He has been so good to us and we trust that He will continue to give us what we need for each day and show us the blessings in each day. Resting in His love." Rebecca Matson

(At this time, Natalie is free of Leukemia and is enjoying life with her family)

32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Lord, we worship you today, in spirit and in truth.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 07 Aug 2011 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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Help is on the way Isaiah 40.1.11
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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Carol Fischer and her family as they grieve the loss of Bob
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