Aug 8 2021 Team Teaching - Faith & Doubt
15th August 2021
Good morning! I’m Patty – this is Dave – and we are part of the Cooper small group – I’ll put this plug in for small groups…
We’ve been assigned the faith/doubt element of this section where Peter attempts to walk on water.
Matthew 14:22 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.
Jesus had been spending a lot of time with the multitudes and needed some ‘alone time’ – Gigi will talk about that…
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.
I can’t imagine what the disciples must have thought, to see Jesus walking on the water during a storm!
Dave: Some commentators say that it may have been 1-2 miles that they were out to 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."
Jesus responds with ‘take courage – it is I’ – kind of similar to when God says – “I am” in the Old Testament – He is everything we need. And Jesus comforts the disciples like a father would His children.
28 Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.“ 29 And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Peter’s response was very characteristic of his personality – Peter showed faith – but here is where the doubt came in:
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?"
The phrase – “Seeing the wind” – Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, became afraid, and sank.
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!"
Jesus immediately stretched out His hand.
It is easy for us to see that Jesus never left Peter’s side, but as Peter was sinking – he didn’t see that.
Peter’s faith grew – as Jesus was preparing him for greater things!
In verse 2 – after Jesus sent the disciples and people away – he went to the hills to pray.
Earlier, the people had followed – the human part of Him needed to be alone to communicate with God. So we, His sons and daughters, need to have alone time to communicate with God
Louis: This is my first time to speak to you.
Seeing Jesus – keeping my eyes on Jesus, I can only say what I learn from His word. You too must keep your eyes on Jesus – everything is a living word in the Bible, from beginning to end. Not everything was pleasant in my life – so I prayed to God – and I recognized that God sometimes allow us to go to hardship as we take our eyes off of Jesus easily. The world entices our minds – and we have a spirit that gives us life – and when we come to Jesus, He says – I will never leave you nor forsake you. Jesyus is with anyone who trusts in Him.
If we keep our eyes on Jesus – things change – you receive an internal power – unexplainable to anyone who does not know Jesus. Whenever I share my faith – you must know that God exists and wants everyone to go to heaven. He created us to be perfect in the beginning, but the enemy came in.
God works mysteriously. God exercises lovingkindness and justice. It is a blessing for anyone to come to Jesus – He is life, strength, blessing. HE knows when we need help – and able to give a blessing – but our eyes need to remain on Jesus. Peter began to sink. At the time, Peter didn’t have the Holy Spirit. He did not have the Bible yet. God never punishes anyone before its time. We live with whatever the storm brings – but we trust Jesus – He said – If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me. Close your eyes and ask God to give you the strength that no one can.
There is sickness and disease, that is from Satan. God allows it to happen, but He chooses those who keep their eyes on Jesus – They are Mine – and I will take care of them. It is a blessing to know God, but your faith will be tested. There are some who do everything the Lord says – but they still go through trials – the world is watching – they see you in the hot water. The Lord will speak to you – in His frequency – that small voice that gives life, strength, energy, and happiness. In heaven – we look forward, our eyes on Jesus – the way, truth, and life – no one comes to the father but through Me – just keep your eyes on Jesus – we need to pray for one another – brother, keep your eyes on Jesus – He is everything – to you – me, and the whole world
Dick: Okay – we can go home now! We have interesting discussions in our small group.
My job was to compare the version in Matthew from Mark.
The sections are very similar –
The section before, Jesus fed the 5000 with a couple loaves of bread and some fish – and then the disciples cross over to Bethsaida – then he excusses the people and goes up to pray. He can see that the disciples are in distress – and he walks out to them – they see what they perceive to be a ghost – he says I am – and they end up on the other shore.
In Mark – it indicates that He saw the disciples were in distress – rowing hard – I wonder, if they were so far away – if it was his God’s eyes that saw they were in distress?
It was the fourth watch – 4-6 am – dark and stormy. Even darker still.
IN Mark, it said he intended to walk past them! I won’t get into all the different thoughts on that – but trhere were some times in the Old Testament where God walked by –
These were Jews who knew all the stories – I think they may have caught the reference – I think that may be what they had in mind. He addressed them as God – do not be afraid – I am.
Paul Hollywood can make food taste really good – but he can’t MAKE FOOD!
Jesus takes the loaves and fishes and makes food – it was a God thing.
He is walking on water – something only God can do (until Peter did it!) – I think He was showing – I am God –
He did walk out – and approached them – and the big difference I saw – Mark doesn’t mention Peter getting out of the boat! They had different responses – truly this was the son of God.
In Mark – He says – Do not be afraid, I am! Mark indicates that they hadn’t learned the lesson from the loaves and fish.
It is easy for us to not learn the lessons because we don’t always understand that God is working in our midst – He can walk by and we miss Him.
We have the whole picture – Jesus died and rose again – the discipels were in the dark – but on the other hand – they were living, talking, touching the God of the Universe – so they had something on us!
He wants us to know He is God – and we need to keep our eyes focused on Him.
One more thing – Prone to wander – prone to leave the god I love – appropriate today – we are prone to walk away from the God of the Universe so it is the work we do day by day.
Sue: I was focusing on the section – “If it is you, command me to come to You!”
Command – interesting word – command was the word in most translations. Peter got it – if Jesus commanded him to do something, he would be able to do it. Jesus would never give a command that Peter couldn’t do!
Wow! What a thought! If only God would command me to love that neighbor that sinned against me… oh wait – He did!
God would not command us to do something He would not give us the ability to do!
But it doesn’t end there – Peter doubts – O ye of little faith – I get it – You’re disappointed – I fail – but that voice in my head that says You failed – I am disappointed in you! That is not the voice of Jesus!
When a toddler learns to walk – they get up and fall down and get up - and the parents will cheer them on – But what if the parent said – well, you tried – you failed – might as well not try that again!
Simone Biles – when she said she couldn’t go on – she said that she never felt she was valued for who I am – but only for what I’ve accomplished.
These are strong, talented people who, I think I can safely say – are more talented than anyone in this room.
Criticism does not lead people to change their behavior, but it leads to anger… hindering relationship.
What is God’s goal for us? Relationship. If we are hearing a voice in our head, saying - you are not doing well – that is not from Jesus – that is the accuser!
One of my kids asked – how can you tell if it is God’s voice? I told her – if it is accusing you – it is not God’s voice. It is not that he never tells us we are doing something wrong. Like Nathan – this is you – you have sinned – and David could repent.
When Peter was telling Jesus – may it never be – Jesus replied – get thee behind me, Satan! Peter could repent and move on.
Shame is debilitating – it causes you to take your eyes off Jesus – it doesn’t create that bond or closeness.
I was looking at a list of positive motivation.
Ask for employee input.
Offer enrichment programs
Don’t get upset about mistakes
Radiate positivity –
Create a mentorship program
Jesus preached about the mustard seed – that little bit of faith was praised. If we abide, we bear fruit. God doesn’t expect us to spring fully formed when we are born again. The only ones who sprang forth fully formed were Adam and Eve, and they had their own issues!
Jesus is assured that we will grow and become perfect in the end. We will become perfect like He is.
Dick: One more thing – He told Peter – o you of little faith – it wasn’t derogatory – Good job – you had a little faith – no one else walked on water!