According to the Congressional Research Service, tornadoes are the 2nd largest cause of destructive
Storm Chasers are individuals who chase after storms like hurricanes and tornadoes.
Most storm chasers do this for the sake of research.
Others do it for the adrenaline rush.
In either case, it is a dangerous endeavor!
Our story today is about a storm chaser who goes into the middle of a storm to save his friends.
This morning I’m using the title, “Storm Chasers.” Before I preach, let us pray!
22 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds.
Jesus has had a very busy day.
His cousin John has been beheaded by Herod.
Jesus leaves by boat to be alone.
As He arrives ashore, He is met by a crowd waiting for Him. Jesus had compassion on them and healed their sick.
As it begins to get late, the disciples suggest to Jesus to send the crowd away so they can go home and eat.
Jesus tells the disciples the people don’t have to go away, you feed them. The disciples only have 5 loaves and 2 fish. Jesus tells them to bring the food to Him. He gives thanks and feeds 5,000 men plus women and children!
After feeding the people, Jesus commands His disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side while He dismisses the crowd.
23 After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.
After Jesus dismisses His disciples and the crowd, Jesus engages in what we call in chaplaincy self-care.
Jesus knew His battery was running low so he needed to be alone with His Father in prayer to be recharged. Here we see the humanity of Jesus. His cousin dead. No time to grieve but ministry was calling. He needed some time to be alone and just pray.
While Jesus is alone with His Father praying, his disciples are also alone crossing the lake.
24 But the boat was already over a mile from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them.
The disciples find themselves in another storm. What’s different about this storm is that Jesus is not in the boat this time? What do you do when you find yourself in a storm and Jesus is NOT in the boat?
Matthew doesn’t tell us that the disciples prayed.
We can imagine they were doing the best they could in the storm.
But their best was NOT good enough!
What are they to do? What do you do?
25 Around three in the morning, 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.
Why in the world are the disciples afraid when Jesus comes to them in the midst of a storm? The disciples fear is a symptom of a deeper problem.
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, 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?”
The first thing Jesus tries to do is alleviate their fear by using the Divine Declaration ego eimi (I am). Jesus desires for them to be courages because He Is. There is no need to fear because Jesus is near!!!
Peter seizes on Jesus’ words and asks for Jesus to summon him on the water. You might be asking yourself, why would Peter want to get out of the boat to go on the water in the middle of a storm? Good questions!
Although Peter is using the first to say something and sometimes he has had time to think about what he is saying, I believe this time it might be different.
Is it possible that Peter wants to leave the boat because he believes it is safer to be on the water with Jesus than on the boat without him? You can chew on that for moment.
As Peter steps out of the boat, he finds the waves as firm as concrete.
With His eyes fixed on Jesus, he takes step after step
Suddenly, Peter feels the strength of the wind, he sees the anger waves, and for a moment his eyes are not on Jesus!
In a flash, all the courage that was mustered to leave the boat and walk on water is gone!
Peter begins to sink and cries out… “LORD, save me!”
Illustration about long prayers. Peter would have died if he prayed like some of us! Long prayers are for you closest, not when you are about to die!
Long, prosy talks and prayers are out of place anywhere, and especially in the social meeting. Their prayers are long and mechanical. They weary the angels and the people who listen to them. Our prayers should be short and right to the point (LORD, save me). Let the long, tiresome petitions be left for the closest… Testimonies to the Church Volume 4 p. 70
Jesus immediately reaches out His hand, grabs Peter and says, “You of little faith, why did you doubt? Did you hear that? Why did you doubt?
Do you doubt that Jesus loves you and cares for you?
Do you doubt that Jesus will come through for you when you find yourself in a storm?
Do you doubt that Jesus will provide for you when you are in financial distress?
Do you doubt that Jesus will provide a man or woman of God for when YOU are ready?
What is it that you are doubting?
I have some good news. JESUS is a storm chaser! If is eye is on the sparrow, you can know that he watches you! While the disciples were struggling in the storm, they didn’t realize that Jesus was watching them from the shore. One writer says that He never lost sight of them.
Do you believe that Jesus has lost sight of you and your situation?
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!”
Once all the fear and all the doubt is put aside, the disciples are now free to worship!
3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.