Faithlife Sermons

The Faith of Peter

The relatable disciple  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The relatable Apostle

Have you ever read the Bible and felt as if you were not near as great as the biblical characters?
Have you ever felt inadequate when reading about how the disciples lived their lives and gave all they had to Christ?
Have you ever felt like you could never be a biblical hero like Moses, Abraham, David, Ruth, John, Mary, Matthew, Peter, or Paul?
If you have you are not alone, but the reality of us feeling that way is pretty insane because all of the biblical characters in the bible are messed up humans that God decided to use.
Even the disciples were normal humans who had their own personalities and issues but God used them to change the world!
Over the next couple of weeks we are going to study the disciple or apostle Peter. He is probably the most relatable of all the disciples to me because he is hard headed. He speaks his mind and says way too much all of the time.
Peter was a fisherman as his profession. He began following Jesus the when Jesus told him to cast his net on the other side of the boat and they caught so many fish the net began to break!
This real life encounter with God brought him to give up his life for Christ.
This encounter not only changed his life but impacted the entire world through a human who is just like us.
This is a great quote on the life of Peter and how he is so relatable to us from Dr. Alexander Whyte:
The four gospels are full of Peter. After the name of our Lord Himself, no name comes up so often as Peter’s name. No disciple speaks so often and so much as Peter. Our Lord speaks oftener to Peter than to any other of His disciples: sometimes in praises sometimes in blame. No disciple is so pointedly reproved by our Lord as Peter, and no disciple ever ventures to reprove his Master but Peter. No other disciple ever so boldly confessed and outspokenly acknowledged and encouraged our Lord as Peter repeatedly did, and no one ever intruded, and interferred, and tempted Him as repeatedly as Peter did.
Peter’s Master spoke words of approval, and praise, and even blessing to Peter the like of which he never spoke to any other man. And at the same time, and almost in the same breath, He said harder things to Peter than He ever said to any other of His twelve disciples, unless it was to Judas.
Tonight we are going to begin looking at the life of Peter by first looking at his faith and trust in Christ.
Matthew 14:22–36 NLT
22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” 28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” 32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. 34 After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. 36 They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.
We just read a crazy story of faith that none of the other disciples showed. This is so significant of Peter too because he always seems to want to one up the other disciples.
The first thing we can look at about Peter’s faith is:

1. The Reason

Matthew 14:22–29 NLT
22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” 28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
The event that happened prior to this verse is the miracle that Jesus performed through feeding the 5,000 through a kids lunch. The disciples were active participants in this miracle as well. They knew that Jesus was the Messiah and that He is God in the flesh.
The disciples followed and obeyed Jesus because they knew him. Jesus told them to get in the boat by themselves and cross the lake.
Peter was in this group and he had enough faith in Christ because he had seen and participated in the miracles and understood that Jesus is the Son of God.
The Source of Peter’s Faith is rooted in Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the reason that Peter quit his job in order to follow him.
Peter had Faith in everything that Jesus commanded because Peter had faith that Jesus is the Son of God.
The issue comes about the moment they are alone and a storm comes. They were now away from the Son of God and waves are beginning to grow larger and larger.
They then see a person walking on the water to them so their fear intensified until they heard Jesus’s voice.
Peter had faith in Jesus due to his voice calling out to them.
Peter personality then shows through by testing Jesus in a sense to assure him that it truly was Him.
He Jesus if it really is you tell me to come to you walking on the water!
Jesus responds again saying Come on.
Peter is now locking eyes with the object of his faith Jesus. He began putting one foot in front of the other on top of the water towards Jesus.
When we are place our faith in Jesus nothing around us should matter because we are in the presence of the Son of God. We know that God controls all things and we know God has us.
The problem with Peter’s faith though wasn’t the source but it was his humanity. His humanity brought about the:

2. Sorrow with his faith

Matthew 14:30–31 NLT
30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
The problem with Peter’s faith came about the moment he took his eyes off of the source of his faith.
Peter began sinking into a storm tossed waves because he lost sight of Christ.
The moment broke his concentration from Jesus is the moment he became terrified and panicked. Which is in complete contrast from a couple of seconds ago even though the same wind and waves were crashing around him.
When we are faith is placed in Christ knowing that he is in complete control of everything around us then our fear and worry does not overcome us due to our object of focus.
When does your life seem most out of control as a Christian? When you are no longer focused on the source of your faith and begin trying to fix all the issues on your own right.
When we are focused on Christ the craziness of our lives is still going on. The daily grind of life is still happening. The daily stresses and daily struggles are still happening but our source of faith is constant.

Our source of faith is what dampens the struggle during the chaos!

The firm foundation during the difficulties is what brings about the transformation of our lives.

3. The transformation of Peter’s faith

Matthew 14:32–36 NLT
32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. 34 After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. 36 They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.
The sorrow of Peter’s faith brought about a huge transformation among all of the other disciples. They all proclaimed in worship for Jesus yelling that He is the Son of God.
The first time they have voiced this major truth in our faith.
The faith of Peter bolstered the boldness of the others and in unison they all worship Jesus as he deserves.
Imagine the disappointment in Peter as he is climbing back into the boat soaking wet because he took his eyes off of Jesus.
I feel as if that were today and you got back into the boat with your best friends soaking wet after being dumb. They would instantly begin to roast you about your failure.
But that is not at all what happened the entire boat worshipped the Son of God.
Peter’s exercise of faith brought others to grasp hold of who Jesus is.
The proclamation of the Son of God is now becoming a reality.
Peter who boldly questioned Jesus to let himself walk on water is the same person whose focus was swayed to the craziness around him.
The craziness around him took his eyes off of Christ.
The comfort in this though is that even when Peter’s faith failed, Jesus still rescued him.
This brings about some very important concepts of our faith.
Our faith is strongest when we are focusing on Christ.
God doesn’t stop loving and caring for us when we take our eyes off of him.
Faith is what causes us to have peace during the chaos of life.
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