High School of Faith: Matthew 14:22-33
“22) Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 23) After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. 24) But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. 25) And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26) When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27) But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” 28) Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” 29) And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30) But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31) Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32) When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33) And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”” Matthew‬ ‭14‬:‭22‬-‭33‬
The School of Faith continued for the disciples. In the previous post we saw how Kindergarten was believing in Jesus as Savior. Elementary School was believing in Jesus as the Great Physician for healing and freedom from demonic oppression. Middle School was believing in Him as the Provider in the face of seemingly impossible situations.
We now come to High School in the school of faith. This is when we experientially discover Jesus as Sovereign Lord! It only happens by meeting Him through the storms of life. It is the unwavering faith that He is in absolute control though the storms are raging. Let’s unpack the text.
In the story, Jesus commanded the disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him while He sent the crowd away. As they were many stadia away, they were caught in a life threatening storm. It was the fourth watch of the night, they were exhausted and it seemed that Jesus had abandoned them.
Do you ever feel that way? It is a certainty that storms will come in life. Becoming a Christian does not come with a guarantee that we will never have storms, trials or opposition in life. To the contrary, we live in a fallen world and our faith will be tested.
This level of faith prevents us from slipping into panic mode. No matter how severe the outer storms, when we embrace Jesus as Sovereign Lord it enables us to live in the fruit of the Spirit. This is equivalent to Psalm 91:1 and David dwelling in the shelter of the Most High and abiding in the shadow of the Almighty.
Ok, let’s learn a few important lessons from this story. First, let me ask a question; “Where was Jesus while His disciples were fighting the storm? According to Matthew 14:23, He was in the mountain praying for them! Don’t miss this vital detail!
Romans 8:28-39 gives us the same promise. Jesus is constantly interceding for us. He is actively turning our trials into good. Much necessary growth comes through the storms of life, but God’s Word promises that nothing can separate us from His love.
Second, notice that Jesus used the waves of the storm as stepping stones to walk into their lives in a much deeper way. In the middle of the storm He came to them walking on the water. It was there, in the middle of the storm that they met Jesus as “Sovereign Lord” and discovered that He was in control. This lesson is not learned outside of the storms in life.
Third, sometimes in the middle of the storm our faith falls short. Peter sincerely tried to walk on water until fear engulfed him and he began to sink. I commend Peter. When He stepped out of the boat into Gods Sovereignty he left his comfort zone behind.
But let me provide a little side note. Jesus does not share His glory with any man. Had Peter succeeded, the other disciples may have been confused about who to worship. Far to many Christian leaders promote themselves to the obscurity of Jesus. True faith is making sure the spot light is always shining on Jesus.
Fourth, trusting Jesus as Sovereign Lord motivates us to attempt great things for God! It assures us that He is there to save us when we start sinking. If you have never cried out with Peter; “Lord, save me” it is because you have never stepped beyond your comfort zone.
Finally, notice when Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind stopped. Because Jesus is Sovereign Lord, we have the assurance that the storm will pass… and it often happens when we invite Him into our boat.
As I look back at my life, I see clearly that God used every storm in my life for a purpose. The window of understanding became clear when I embraced Jesus. Never, never, never let Satan deceive you into holding Jesus at arms length because of a storm in your past.
Until you embrace Jesus as Sovereign Lord you will be tossed around in life and never experience abiding peace and joy. The storms “without” will forever feed the storm “within.”
This is especially true today as the storm clouds of the end times gather. It is a huge step of faith to resolve the issue of God’s Sovereignty and control in your life. You will never conquer worry, stress and anxiety if you remain an agnostic related to the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God. Many Christian’s fail to pass this high school course!
So you wonder; “Where does the School of Faith Lead next?” “What does Graduate School look like?” That’s a valid question and it deserves a post all of its own. We can stretch an analogy to far, but I believe Jesus wants every Christian to enroll in the Graduate School of Faith. Stay tuned for the next post!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global