Sermon Summary (7/14/19) “Peter: Walking With Jesus in the Storms” (Mt 14:22-33; Ps 100)
This sermon could have been entitled, “Peter, Sinking Like a Rock.” I mean, if your nickname is “Rock,” what do you expect when you step out of the boat? But three of the four gospels tell of the story of Jesus walking to the boat on the water and stilling the storm.
I grew up picturing the gospel stories in real time as if the writer was an instant reporter, but the gospels were written decades later and the first hearers of this story was the first century church. New converts were not eye witnesses. For them, Jesus had been left on the shore, and the church was in the boat being storm tossed, “battered” by the storm. Some would say that a better translation would be “tortured.” The church was in truth being tortured by the Roman Empire, and Jesus was absent.
Jesus comes walking to them on the water as he comes to us through history in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Peter steps out in faith but even then his faith wavers and he begins to sink. We criticize Peter, yet he was to only one to step out. We can understand that this was a new thing. Never before had one been seen walking on water. And when he wavered, he knew who his Savior was, “Lord, save me!”
The response of the church in the boat, too is vital to the story. 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
They worshiped him! The church worshiped him. It is important to note that Christianity is not a solitary religion. When we are baptized, we are baptized into a church. We step into the boat. To use Jesus’ metaphor of the vine, “I am the Vine, you are the branches,” we are grafted onto the Vine which is Christ. We are the body of Christ. We are in the boat, and we are called to worship him. We recognize him as “Truly you are the Son of God” and we worship him. We need to be there. We need to be in the boat and worship him.
“Make a joyful noise all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness, come into his presence with singing. Know that he is God. It is he that made us and we are his. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” (Ps 100)
He is Lord. Worship him.