Matthew 14:22-32 Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Me

by | Nov 8, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

V. 22 The crowds had wanted to make Jesus king.
Jesus had miraculously fed the crowd with a few fishes and loaves of bread.
Jesus deliberately broke up the crowd, and did not give in to their desires.
He sent the disciples away from the crowd, lest they become influenced by the mob mentality.

V. 23 Jesus had been seeking respite for some time. He is now intentionally getting off by Himself.

V. 24 The predicament seems to have been the worst at this point.
They are in the middle of the sea, and the safety of the shore is equally far away.
They were experienced fishermen, and understood this dangerous situation.
To go backwards would be to go against what Jesus had directed them.
To go forward means they would face difficulty and opposition.
But it’s better to follow Jesus and be fearful in the storm than be safe with the crowds.

V. 25 Fourth watch- between 3-6 a.m.
They had been rowing against the wind for many hours, because of the command of Jesus.

V. 26 Jesus came to them when they were not looking for Him.
He came to them in a way that they never would have conceived.
In fact, His coming to them should have been good news to them, but they misinterpreted it as bad.
Obeying Jesus has put them in the middle of a storm, and that caused fear.
Then He came to them in a way they didn’t expect, and that caused more fear.

V. 27 This is always the answer for the Christian who is facing fear.
Jesus said two things to them:
1. Be of good cheer because I am here. 2. Because I am here, don’t be afraid.

Notice what Jesus did not immediately say:
1. I’m going to do something great right now. 2. I’m going to make the problem go away.

Guzik- There are two good reasons to put away fear. One reason may be that the problem is not nearly as bad as one had thought; perhaps you are afraid because you exaggerate the danger. The other reason is that even though the problem may be real, there is an even greater solution and help at hand.

Their source of joy and courage was to be found in the fact that Jesus was with them.
He had commanded them to cross the lake, and then as they obeyed, the situation got frightening.
He is now commanding them to be joyful and not afraid, because he is there.

V. 28 I appreciate that Peter wasn’t sure if it was Jesus, and asked for divine proof.
NOTE-Notice what Peter did not say…
1. If it’s you, make the storm go away. 2. If it’s you, make my fear go away.

What Peter did say…
1. Lord if it’s you; command me to come to you in ways that seem impossible.
2. Get me to you, in spite of the frightening thing that is before me.
3. If it’s you, help me do what I cannot do without you.

Jesus met Peter in the midst of the storm, and in the midst of his fear, not apart from it.

Vs. 29, 30 Peter is to be greatly commended for his courageous request and initial steps of faith.
When Peter’s focus was on Jesus, he enjoyed the miraculous work of God
1. He alone responded to Jesus. 2. He alone obeyed Jesus and walked on the water.

But like any of us might do, he took his focus off of Jesus and focused on the wind and the waves.
1. As a result, he began to sink.
2. Bruce-“Peter walked on the water but feared the wind: such is human nature, often achieving great things, and at fault in little things.”
3. But in faith, he wisely called out to Jesus.

V. 31 Jesus asked Peter to examine himself about why he went from faith to doubt.
When we doubt, we need to ask ourselves…
1. Is there a good reason for my doubt? 2. Will any good come from my doubt?

When we have faith, we have a good reason for our faith.
But when we doubt, we do not have a good reason for our doubt.

Guzik- Peter here shows us the weakness of little faith.
· Little faith is often found in places where we might expect great faith.
· Little faith is far too eager for signs.
· Little faith is apt to have too high an opinion of its own power.
· Little faith is too much affected by it surroundings.
· Little faith is too quick to exaggerate the peril.
Yet Peter also shows us some of the strengths of little faith.
· Little faith is true faith.
· Little faith will obey the word of Jesus.
· Little faith struggles to come to Jesus.
· Little faith will accomplish great things for a time.
· Little faith will pray when it is in trouble.
· Little faith is safe, because Jesus is near.

Vs. 32, 33 The Eleven watched as Peter had great faith, little faith, and then doubt.
Amongst the followers of Jesus, there will always be those who step out in faith, and those who watch others step out in faith.
They watched what great faith can do.
They watched what Jesus can do for a man with little faith and doubt.

This entire incident ended with them worshipping Jesus and recognizing Him as the Son of God.
They had obeyed Jesus, and ended up in a storm, fearing for their lives.
They had experienced Jesus coming to them in a way they never prayed for or expected.
They experienced mistaking His presence for something bad.
They experienced the bold faith of a fellow Believer, and then watched that faith falter and weaken.
They watched Jesus rescue that man and demonstrate His Lordship over a frightening situation.
They ended up worshipping Him and recognizing His divinity and power.