"WHY DID YOU DOUBT?"
Intro. Setting the scene. It had been a hard day, it began with the news of the beheading of John the Baptist. Jesus suggested to the disciples that they go over to a deserted place across the sea. When they arrived they found a crowd waiting for them. Jesus ministered unto them healing their sick. Late in the afternoon the disciples asked Jesus to send them away. Jesus said we need to feed them first. It was then that He took the five loaves and the two fish and with them fed the 5,000 men with the women and children. Jesus now commanded the disciples to get into the ship and go over to the other side. He remained back and dismissed the multitudes, He then spent time alone with the Father. In the meantime the disciples had encountered a storm, and a strong wind was blowing against them, so that though they had been rowing hard all night they were only to the middle of the sea. Sometime after 3:00 in the morning Jesus came walking to them on the water. Initially they were frightened thinking that He
was a ghost. He assured them that it was only Him, and Peter said, "Lord, if it is You bid me come to You." Jesus said, "Come"
I. PETER WALKING ON THE WATER TO JESUS.
A. I love those that are willing to take a venture in faith.
1. Abraham took a venture in faith leaving his family and beginning his journey not really knowing his destination.
2. David took a venture in faith as he walked up from the brook to face the giant.
3. Jonathan took a venture in faith as he and his armor bearer faced the camp of the Philistines alone.
B. Some may say, "There goes Peter on his way to another failure."
1. You show me a man who has never failed, and I will show you a man who has never done anything.
2. My small grandson was in the car with his dad, showing him all the scratches and bruises on his legs. When his dad remarked about all the cuts, he responded, "Well dad, I am still going out and play and climb trees, and ride my bike, because if you don't take risks, life is not worth living.
3. I admire Peter for trying. At least he had some success even if it was short lived. That's more than you can say for the rest of the disciples who remained in the ship.
4. Note verse 29 "And when Peter came down out of the ship he walked on the water to go to Jesus."
5. He was doing it, he was walking on the water, he was going for it.
II. PETER SINKING. "AND BEGINNING TO SINK, HE CRIED, "LORD, SAVE ME."
A. Often times defeat comes right after our greatest victories.
1. Just after Elijah had the contest with the prophets of Baal, God had answered by fire, the people acknowledged that Jehovah was God. And seizing the moment, Elijah killed all the prophets of Baal.
a. When the wicked queen Jezebel heard what Elijah had done, she took an oath to kill him, and Elijah ran for fear of his life, and sought to hide from Jezebel.
b. He was so despondent that he asked God to let him die.
2. Right after Samson had killed the thousand Philistines with the jaw bone of the donkey, he thought he was going to die of thirst.
3. I think that Satan is waiting at the bottom of the hill after every mountain top experience that we might have.
B. At least he knew who to call on when he was going down. "Lord save me."
1. We all have those crisis times in our lives, where we are forced to reach out beyond ourselves.
2. Where do you reach when you have reached your limits?
a. Some reach for a bottle.
b. Others reach for a gun.
c. The pressure and strain of life is too great, I cannot cope anymore.
3. When you feel yourself going down, as Peter, you need to cry "Lord, save me."
C. "Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him."
1. I love it.
2. It's a moment of crisis, Jesus may chide him later, but He saves him first.
3. Feel like you are going down? Call out to Jesus and you will find Him reaching out to you.
D. Look how close the help was. Just as close as his lips, "Lord save me."
1. In Romans 10
we read, "Say not in your heart, who shall ascend into heaven, that is to bring Christ down from above, or who shall descend into the deep, that is to bring Christ up from the dead. But what does it say? The word is near to you even in your mouth and in your heart, that is the word of faith that we preach. For if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
2. Help and deliverance is very close to you, even as close as your mouth. All you have to do is call unto Him and He will save you.
3. Jesus spoke of the sinner who standing in the temple would not so much even as lift his head toward heaven because of his heavy sense of guilt, he just smote on his chest and said, "God be merciful to me a sinner." And he went away justified.
III. PETER'S DOUBTING. AND JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, "O YE OF LITTLE FAITH, WHY DID YOU DOUBT?"
A. Peter was off to a good start. He was walking on the water to Jesus.
1. He took a daring step of faith, and the Lord honored it.
2. But suddenly he began to sink, what happened?
B. I cannot tell you why, but I imagine that Jesus was sort of chuckling at Peter when He said, "O ye of little faith, why did you doubt?"
1. I do not see this as a rebuke at all.
2. I believe that the question was designed for instruction.
3. Analyze this Peter, why did you doubt?
C. He doubted because he saw the boisterous wind. "But when he saw the wind boisterous."
1. He got his eyes off of Jesus and on to the boisterous wind.
a. Perhaps a large wave was approaching with a white cap.
b. Perhaps the wind caught him and almost blew him over.
2. What a lesson that is for us.
a. Looking at Jesus he was walking on the water.
b. Looking at the difficulty, the problem he began to sink.
c. I have discovered that the more I look at my problem the bigger it seems to grow until it seems to be insurmountable.
d. Medical science has brought us many marvelous advances. Surgical procedures have so advanced that once certain operations that used to require long hospital recovery are now done in the out patient section. Once deadly maladies are cured with miracle drugs.
e. There are still however certain diseases and maladies for which medicine has no cure. The very prognosis of cancer, or alzheimer strikes terror to our hearts.
f. I need to keep my eyes on Jesus, for though these things might be impossible to fully cure as far as man's ability, they are simple for Him.
g. Why do you doubt?
D. Looking to Jesus he walked on water. He did the impossible.
1. Looking at the crashing seas, he sank.
2. What does that teach you? KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS!
E. Looking at the boisterous wind he was afraid.
1. Faith and fear are mutually exclusive.
2. Faith cancels fear, fear cancels faith.
3. As I keep my eyes on Jesus my faith grows.
4. As I look at my great problems, my fear grows.
5. What should that teach me? KEEP MY EYES ON JESUS!