Matthew 14:22-33 – How To Walk On Water

Jesus walks on water - Matthew 14

And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. Matthew 14:28, 29

Very early in that morning, Jesus’ disciples were in their little boat on the sea of Galilee. A strong, contrary wind whipped boisterous waves against them. There was almost something personal about this adverse gale.

A Joyous Multitude

It had been a remarkable day. Thousands had come to hear Jesus. The disciples felt honored to be associated with the wonderful Teacher. The crowds hung on his gracious words. His doctrines and manner of teaching were delightful. There was a thrilling challenge in his message that searched the depths of their hearts.

Every hearer had some notion of the kingdom hope and the part Israel was to play in it. Most were natural, even carnal, concepts, appealing to human pride; were they not the people of God? But Jesus’ kingdom was beautiful—the Lord’s hallowed presence enthroned in every heart.

Blessing Now, Blessing Later

The throng was hungry for His teachings. They forgot their hunger for food. But the disciples became aware of practicalities. They noticed the descending sun, and became uneasy. They interrupted Jesus, whispering that he should dismiss his audience.

Then followed an experience that would make their minds tingle on every future recollection. They became instruments in an amazing demonstration of power: one lad’s supper fed the multitude. What a climax to the day! They witnessed a portrayal of that blessed time when all human needs would be divinely satisfied and they would again be the instruments used of the Lord to convey blessings to mankind. They were learning to live with the power of God.

This is essential to the preparation of the future ministers of the kingdom. Each was a vessel of divine grace, a channel of divine love, an instrument through which the Lord would exhibit the glory of his power to give life abundant to whosoever will.

A Need for Quiet

Finally, the crowds dispersed, and Jesus was left alone with his disciples—but not before another wonderful moment occurred. The people were so elated by the experience that groups gathered, rallying the support of all. The disciples realized that the hopeful congregation wanted to proclaim Jesus their king!

Knowing the people’s intent, Jesus motioned to his disciples, climbing higher up the mountain trail to be alone with God. He longed for that future day when men would respond to divine love in a way more enduring than the fervor of that crowd.

Their Stormy Challenge

He told the apostles to proceed to Bethsaida, leaving him alone with his Father in prayer. The disciples in the midst of the sea, and Jesus on high with the Father, depicted the Gospel age night of weary toil for the Church.

It was hard for them. A hazardous storm had risen. They strained at the oars, their struggles seeming to avail nothing. Their Master’s presence seemed remote. For hours they toiled, the journey taking much longer than they had anticipated. They longed for the sight of dawn and the shoreline.

But Jesus knew. From his vantage point on high, he saw their plight. The watches of the night passed. In the fourth watch, they glimpsed a sight which frightened them. It was Jesus, but a Jesus they had yet to know. He was now demonstrating divine abilities.

Winds and waves threatened their ship;

               yet there was Jesus,

                                                     walking on that troubled water as though it was solid rock.

Consider their fear: Here was a being with superhuman power—power above that of the storm. Even earth’s gravity was impotent beneath his feet.

Our Stormy Challenges

This parallels the mighty power of One whose presence is now recognized by saints on earth. Can we comprehend the vast resources of divine power now available to our returned Lord? He is exercising in this earth’s atmosphere, in the midst of the storms that bring fear into human hearts, the power of the victor over sin, the conqueror of every evil force released on earth.

We do not cry out in fear, but let us shout in worship and praise to our returned King, no longer bound by flesh but glorious in majesty.

“Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously on behalf of truth and meekness and righteousness” (Psalm 45:3, 4).

The disciples feared because they glimpsed a being with powers of another world. This recognition of spirit realm was awesome. Blessed are our eyes that see beyond human sight to celestial glory. In awe we see that One who today stands here amidst the earthly scene.

We Learn from Peter

We were not with him on Galilee. We cannot feel the might of battering waves, the force of gale, the surrounding darkness. But our proxy was there, Peter. How we love his earnest heart!

In Peter we see ourselves. His lessons were enjoyed by saints throughout the age. Yet now, the lessons are for us. When Jesus and the disciples were united in the boat, the storm abated, the wind dropped, the sea became a great calm. Soon they reached the other shore.

The time of trouble will not end, nor the testing of the saints, until the last is gathered to be with the Lord. That is the dispensational message. There is also a personal message for each saint, pertaining to their walk this side of the veil. It has special meaning for us, in this time of the Master’s presence in the very midst of earth’s troubled scenes.

Peter was reassured by the Master’s voice,

Take courage. It is I! Do not be afraid!”

 What comfort we find in recognizing One who stands before us now endowed with wondrous powers. The earth hears and trembles; Zion hears and is glad. In the midst of so much disturbance, so many demonstrations of the powers of darkness, when all human existence on this earth is threatened, what comfort to our hearts to hear the voice of our Beloved saying,

Be not afraid. It is I!”

 Peter was stirred. He saw that Jesus’ powers could overcome all limitations of flesh. He glimpsed a higher realm. A blessed truth confronted him, and dear, impulsive Peter, wanted to taste that power divine.

Water-walking

The Lord created a scenario, teaching us what Peter sought to learn—how to walk on water.

When Jesus walked upon that sea, he was upheld by an invisible force superior to any power on earth. Here was faith in its fulness, faith-fulness that finds the rock on which to walk throughout life.

Peter asked, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”

We should not presume, but meekly ask. The invitation comes from him, “Come. Follow me.”

Peter was not testing God. He was asking for the Master’s power to resist the downward force that gravitates the mind to earth. Peter wanted to experience the power of God.

It was an impulsive request. He had not learned that long-sighted vision which the Spirit would later endow. That Spirit recognizes that a heavenly purpose is working on a grand scale. It is our privilege to co-work with God toward that goal. And the Lord utilized Peter’s impulse to teach us lessons.

First we request the Lord’s help to follow him. He does not ask us to do the impossible. God makes ALL things possible.

We are called to walk in Jesus’ steps. How can we do that? He was holy; we are corrupt. Then Peter had to believe that if Jesus gave the word, Jesus had the power. Believe!

Step out of the rocking boat into the stormy sea.

The power is there. This means more than believing when comfortable, in good health. It means to put ALL our confidence and trust on Someone truly worthyto accept him as our TOTAL means of support.

PSALM 20, 7

Jesus walked on water with no visible support. Our visible support refers to job, home, health, family, friends, position, income, material possessions. We cannot depend on them for our peace of mind.

PSALM 118-8

Our Rocky Boats

Believing meant stepping out of the boat. Even a rocky boat is some means of support. Each human strength is like that rocky boat. Stepping out of the boat requires faith.

HEBREWS-11-1-6

Are we then at the mercy of the waves? No, we are abandoning the things that can be shaken and placing our feet on solid rock. Matthew 14:30 records the situation: “When he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me! And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

No one can see what supports the child of faith through tribulation and weakness. But the visible effect of faith can be seenpeace, confidence, joy, at times when the world would expect utter dejection and expect us to sink!

The window of the heart opens to heaven when this body of death is locked in its prison.

PSALM 61, 1-2

The attitude of prayerful praise is the visible evidence of the rock of faith. The confining of the body quickens the spirit of perception that enjoys glorious liberty as God’s sons.

Paul, too, stepped out of a boat and walked on water: “Bonds and afflictions wait for me, but none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto me.” We look not at the things that are seen, but at the things that are unseen. No overcomer cowers in the boat. How frightening, when poor Peter found himself sinking!

Our failures teach us deep and permanent lessons.

All saints experience boisterous winds and waves, dark and threatening contradictions to our faith.

Every step of walking on water is a test of faith.

PSALM 73-26

There is no retirement from the life of faith. As the years advance, we become like Enoch: this walk with the Lord becomes so absorbing to our mind that we do not see death, only the victorious Lord at the side of God’s throne, his voice ringing out, “Come!” This is the victory . . . your faith.”

At Golgotha, visible evidence indicated that Jesus had been abandoned. Yet that ultimate contradiction to his faith proved its very reality, faith FULL unto death. Faith is knowing our Father’s abiding faithfulness. We know he is there, he is for us, he knows every detail required to bring us to himself in the bond of perfect trust.

When Peter stepped out, he needed something more sure than the rocking ship made with human hands. He needed the most dependable power that exists. To reach for it, he needed faith that can let go, as surely as it can cling!

Reaching to Jesus

Matthew 14, Mark 6, and John 6, each add some precious detail. We read in Mark 6:48, that as the wonderful Master walked upon those waves, he seemed to be passing them by, proceeding towards the shore. It was this realization that spurred Peter on to request the Lord’s command to follow him.

Peter did not want the Lord to pass him by. He wanted to walk with Jesus. We do not want the Lord to pass us by. We cannot merely watch him from the uncertain safety of our storm-dashed ship.

We are not arm-chair saints.

Our faith is on trial NOW.

THIS is the hour to realize the power of total trust.

Why wait for that hour of tribulation when our ship may break on the rocks? The truth is staring at us today. Jesus defies that which is seen by natural sight. Contradictions are real. This body of humiliation contradicts the high aspirations of the new mind. It humiliates our pure desire for a holy life. Let our clay vessels manifest the miracle of God’s power.

2 COR. 4, 16

Everyone, not just the Lord’s people, eventually lose the things on which human security depends—health, strength, partner, friends. All have a coded date-stamp beyond which corruption will set in. How vital to our peace that we learn to walk on water NOW, before that evil day.

Then shall we know the triumph of faith that conquers the fury of every storm. Then shall we say:

Let the chill mists gather round me.
Let the lights of earth grow dim.
Leave me Jesus, only Jesus.
I am Satisfied with him.

*****

HEB. 10, 23

 

Acknowledgment

Br. Donald Holliday — for the above study.

*****

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Let us Help Others Hear the Knock

PASTOR CHARLES RUSSELL’S DREAM – Sunrise Prayer and Praise Meeting –

Br Charles Russell (3)

WHEN we entered the hall at 5:15 A.M., there were fully 100 persons present. Promptly at 5:30 Bro. Russell stepped upon the platform and there were by that time 225 present; before the meeting closed there were over 400. The service opened by singing No. 19, “Awake My Soul to Joyful Lays.” This was followed with prayer by Bro. LaFerrey. Then we sang hymn No. 206, “O, How Happy Are We Who in Jesus Agree.”

Bro. Russell: Dear brothers and sisters, I am very glad to greet so many of you this morning and to see that so many of you enjoy the prospect of an early morning prayer meeting. As I saw a number of you headed this way as I was coming to this meeting, it made me think of some of the reasons that draw us together….

So, one reason we like to meet together in conventions and on every occasion is because the Lord seems to give us something special to eat where we are in fellowship, where two and three are gathered together, etc., so when two or three of us meet in His name, we may be sure of His blessing and a refreshment of spirit. In this morning time, more than at any other time, though it has been true throughout all the ages where His people met, but now early in the new morning, when, the new day, the grand Millennial Day, He is inviting us together; He tells us that there will be a great gathering, all the wheat from the tares, all the sons of God, that glorious gathering, which will mean the establishment of the Kingdom of God, out of which will flow all the blessings of God to all the families of the earth. So we have many reasons for thankfulness this morning as we think of the blessed scripture references to this morning time in which we are living such as, “God will help her right early in the morning.”

You remember a picture in the 91st and 45th Psalm, and how the Lord in the 45th Psalm tells of the time of trouble. As we see that day gathering all about us, we hear the Lord’s word coming to us with special emphasis and we will not fear though the earth be removed, though society be shaken and the Kingdoms be carried into the midst of the sea, because we have made the Lord our habitation. In this connection the Lord tells us He will help her, the church right early in the morning. How precious the thought that we are in the early morning, when the shadows are fleeing and we can see more clearly than they could in the centuries past. It was not the Father’s purpose that the special light should shine then, they had all they needed as saints of God that they might be separate from things of this world, but it was not the time to give the glorious sunlight of truth as now.

Thus, dear brothers and sisters, if any fail to get that thought, they fail to get one of the most inspiring thoughts of our time, namely: that the light of the truth which you and I are now seeing is not that you and I are brighter than other men to see it, but it is God’s due time–it is morning time. Why can you see brighter than you could an hour or two ago? Because the great sun has begun to shine upon the earth. Is that all we shall have? Oh, no, that is only the early light. Bye and bye the great sun of righteousness with full power, strength and light will fill the whole earth with the Glory of the Lord. How glad we are that the blessed day is already dawning, what a blessing it has brought into our hearts; we cannot feast on that thought too much.

I might tell you without any injury to any of you about a dream that I had some years ago that had great influence upon my life. Now do not misunderstand me, I do not wish to commend dreams, I think many are nonsensical dreams. I have had many myself, probably from indigestion. I know of a great many people who lay too much stress upon dreams. I pay very little attention to dreams, only so much attention as would be in harmony with God’s word, so as to feel sure the dream came from neither a piece of pie nor inspired by the adversary and I think a great many dreams are inspired by the adversary. I think a safe course is to let no dream have any influence upon our minds except as we can prove them by the word of God. That is our standard. If it agrees not with the word it is because there is no light in it.

But this dream that I will tell you about may help some of you.

I might remark that at the time I had this dream, I was giving attention to the Lord’s work to some extent, I was publishing the Truth and some thought I was neglecting my business. I had five stores at that time, and people would say I guess Mr. Russell is fanatical on the subject of religion. I knew I was not, so was in no danger.

I thought I was not giving enough time, that I ought to give all my time, and this dream helped me.

I dreamed that I was in an attic room, the front looking to the east, and the ceiling was sloping and I thereby knew it was a top room in a house. All around the room was a platform raised about ten inches and on it were mattresses strewn and upon them bed coverings of various kinds; some had been occupied and were vacant and others were occupied by sleepers, and I was in one corner. Over yonder was a door on the right.

I heard a knock that awakened me and I remember how sleepy I felt, I could hardly get my eyes open.

There I saw a servant, one that I never saw or knew, he said they are waiting for you for breakfast and they sent me up to see if you were coming.

Oh! my, it is late, I have overslept myself. Tell them not to wait for me.

With that I thought to get up, but as I started to rise, I was heavy with sleep and my foot caught in the arm of the man sleeping next to me and I went sprawling. I thought well, what will he do? But he was sound asleep, my falling over him had not awakened him.

Something in my dream told me that it was Sunday morning, with that I awakened.

What did it mean?

Well I might take a meaning out of it, that might be in full accord with the truth. I said first of all, this is an upper room and the Lord speaks of housetop saints. Well, then I am glad. Seemingly I was amongst the housetop saints, I was glad that I was not down in the basement.

Then it was Sabbath morning, early in the morning. The sunlight was coming in, all that fits well, the sun is coming in and it is time I was thoroughly awake. Then the empty beds around us, yes, yes, so far as we know, most of the housetop saints have gone in, here a few of us still sleeping; in a dozing way over-charged with the cares of this life. Well, you remember how tired and sleepy you feel almost as if you had been intoxicated. Yes, well that is a good deal the spirit of the world. You are glad you got awake, you felt so stupid, but still next to you was one still more so, and even your falling over him does not awaken him. You are glad you are awake and did not need a knock.

What was that you told the servant?

Have me excused, tell them not to wait for me. Our dear Lord has provided a bridal feast, not a supper or a dinner but a breakfast. So I knelt down and asked the Lord to wait on me for a little;

I determined to be more earnest and diligent in His service.

So I say that while I do not attach much weight to dreams and consider most of them fleshly and of the adversary, but if we think upon them and the words of the Lord, and accept nothing but what will agree with the Scriptures, we may get a good lesson from it.

Well, we are house-top Christians; we have heard the knock informing us that it was morning, that it was the time of the feast and informing us that there is but little time to get ready.

We have heard the knock and how glad we are.

Yet we find some here and there who are still asleep.

Let us help them also to hear the knock that it may go to all parts of the world and let it not be said that there were some in some parts of the world to whom you failed to give the knock.

Jesus-Knocking-At-The-Door-Picture-Revelation-3-20

So we have heard the knock and already on this side of the veil we have entered in and are getting some of the food and refreshment- how glad we are.

The whole world, a greater part of it, as we came here, are still asleep. Some others are awake besides ourselves; you saw the butcher and the baker and the milkman and others all busily engaged looking after their dollars and cents and that was proper in its way.

We also have a business, we have left the world behind, we have become new creatures in Christ Jesus and we must be about our Father’s business.

A principle proper to apply, how energetic have you and I ever been in the affairs of earth in our scramble for dollars and cents? In that proportion let the Lord see that you will be no less energetic in the Spiritual.

Some say Brother Russell, you work late and early; well I used to work late and early for selfish interests, I now have something I love far better, why not work late and early in the Lord’s cause as well as in the early interests?

If the Lord should find that I was careless of His interests in comparison of my previous experience in life, what would He say? It would indicate that I would love the earthly more than the Heavenly.

We do not want Him to say that we ever loved earthly things more than the Heavenly. We are not children of the night, but of the day, let us walk in the light. Ye brethren are not in darkness that that day should come upon you as a thief, but it shall come as a thief and a snare upon the whole world and they shall not escape. Ye brethren are not to fear or measure yourselves from a worldly standpoint. They have no hope such as we have.

Surely, very few persons hope as we do.

What manner of persons ought we to be, said the Apostle, in all manner of conversation, etc., hastening to that glorious time which shall be ushered in by the great time of trouble, the time of refreshing from the Lord, because the times of restitution shall then be near.

I am glad that we have this blessed privilege of meeting this morning.

———-

BE VIGILANT

UP then, and linger not, thou saint of God,

Fling from thy shoulders each impeding load;

Be BRAVE and WISE, SHAKE OFF earth’s soil and SIN,

That with the Bridegroom thou mayst enter in.

O watch and pray!

====================

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Romans 13:8-14

Fulfilling the Law Through Love

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Reference :

1907 Part II Bible Students Convention Report, Sunrise Prayer and Praise Meeting – Tues Sept 3rd 1907

URL: https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/06/08/let-us-help-others-hear-the-knock/

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