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When Will We Worship Jesus?

Notes & Transcripts

When Will We Worship Jesus?

Matthew 14:22-33

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - June 2, 2013

SCRIPTURE:

*Please open your Bibles to Matthew 14 this morning, as we focus on worship. In today's Scripture Peter and the other disciples worshiped the Lord Jesus out on the Sea of Galilee. Would you please stand in honor of God's Word, as we read Matthew 14:22-33.

22. Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.

23. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on a mountain by Himself to pray. And when evening had come, He was alone there.

24. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

25. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.

26. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!'' And they cried out for fear.

27. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.''

28. And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.''

29. So He said, "Come.'' And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

30. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!''

31. And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?''

32. And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

33. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God.''

MESSAGE:

*Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped (Jesus), saying, "Truly You are the Son of God.'' The English word "worship" is found 80 times in the New Testament, and 60 of those 80 times God chose to use the original word He used here in vs. 33. This Greek word is God's favorite New Testament word for worship. And believe it or not, the word picture behind this word is a dog licking his master's hand.

*As a dog-lover, I'm really glad God used this word picture for worship. I can really relate to it because whenever I come home, our dog Freckles is so glad to see me! She jumps up and licks my hand. Sometimes she lays down in submission, just wanting her belly scratched. Whenever I'm home, she almost always wants to be close to me. When I go to another room, she usually goes with me. And when I pick up my keys to leave, she desperately wants to go with me.

*Now you may not care a thing about dogs, but we all need to get this: The way my dog treats me gives us a big clue about what God wants from us in worship. How long then has it been since you really worshiped God? And when will you worship Jesus?

1. First Church: We will worship the Lord when we recognize His divinity.

*Nobody is like Jesus Christ! He truly is the one-of-a-kind, only begotten Son of God! Jesus is everything we are not. John 1:1 tells us that in the beginning Jesus already was. And all things are possible with Jesus, because He is God the Son.

*By this time in the Lord's ministry His disciples had been with Him around 18 months to two years. They had seen many, many demonstrations of the Lord's amazing power. Up to this point in Matthew's Gospel, we find at least 13 reports of miracles, involving thousands of people.

*In Matthew 8:1-3, Jesus healed a leper. There the Scripture says:

1. When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.

2. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.''

3. Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed.'' And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

*Next in Matthew 8, with just a word Jesus healed a Roman soldier's servant who had some kind of paralyzing disease. Jesus also healed Peter's mother-in-law of a fever simply by touching her hand. Then He cast out demons with His word, calmed the wind and the raging sea, and cast out a whole legion of demons from two men.

*In Matthew 9:1-8, Jesus healed another paralyzed man and forgave his sins. Here the Scripture says:

1. So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city.

2. And behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.''

3. And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, "This Man blasphemes!''

4. But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts?

5. For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise and walk'?

6. But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins'' then He said to the paralytic, "Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.''

7. And he arose and departed to his house.

8. Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God who had given such power to men.

*After this in Matthew 9, Jesus healed a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. Then He raised Jairus' daughter from the dead! Jesus also healed two blind men by touching their eyes. And He cast out a dumb demon, allowing the man to begin speaking.

*In Matthew 12 Jesus healed a man who was both blind and mute. In Matthew 14 Jesus fed 5,000 men plus thousands more women and children with five loaves and two fish. And now in vs. 22-27, we see another amazing miracle:

22. Immediately (i.e. immediately after feeding the 5,000) Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.

23. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on a mountain by Himself to pray. And when evening had come, He was alone there.

24. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

25. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.

*Church: That was in the middle of the night, probably sometime between 3 and 6 o'clock in the morning.

26. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!'' And they cried out for fear.

27. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.''

*John 16:9 tells us this happened after the disciples had rowed 25 or 30 furlongs. That's 3 or 4 miles! Those disciples were 3 or 4 miles from where they started when Jesus came to them walking on the water!

*Do you remember learning how to swim? Most of us would say it was hard at first. Maybe we could just swim across the pool. Then after a while we could go the whole length. But it was hard at first. Do you think it was hard for Jesus to walk on the water? Do you think He worried about it? Do you think He had to practice? -- Of course not.

*Nobody is like Jesus! He truly is the one-of-a-kind, only begotten Son of God! Jesus Christ is God Almighty, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords! And the more we realize this great truth, the more we will worship Him.

*When will we worship Jesus? -- When we recognize the Lord's divinity.

2. And when we appreciate the Lord's humanity.

*Verse 26 tells us that "when the disciples saw Jesus "walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, 'It is a ghost!' And they cried out for fear." Why did they do that? -- Because although they were beginning to realize that Jesus is divine, they also knew that He was a man.

*Jesus was a man. God became a man. Just like us, Jesus learned to walk and talk. Just like us, He laughed and He cried. Just like us, He got thirsty, hungry and tired. Jesus got headaches and toothaches. He bled when He was cut.

*As a man, Jesus was just like us in every way -- except without sin. And we must appreciate His humanity, because Jesus took on this robe of flesh for a reason: He came to die for our sins.

*Here is part of God's explanation to us in Hebrews 2:

9. We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

10. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

14. Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, That through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,

15. and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

*Jesus Christ was born to die for our sins. Divinity took on humanity. God the Son became a man. Then He died on the cross and rose again so that we could live forever! God wants us to appreciate this with all of our hearts.

*Good and noble sacrifice should always be appreciated. That's why we just observed Memorial Day in our country. Back during World War II, many years before he became President, Ronald Reagan had the job of reviewing recommendation letters for military honors. Some of those letters resulted in soldiers receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor.

*One letter told of a gunner who was trapped in a hole in the bottom of a B-29 bomber. The plane had gone through a crippling attack that also destroyed the landing gear. The pilot did not know if he could land the B-29 without the gunner being killed.

*As the plane got close to England, the pilot realized that they would never reach an airstrip anyway. He ordered everyone to bail out. But just as the last man stood ready to jump, the pilot took off his parachute. He knelt down beside the gunner still helplessly trapped in the hole. And the pilot said, "Sergeant, looks like you and I are going to land this thing together." (1)

*He would not abandon his friend, even at the cost of his own life. We must remember and appreciate that kind sacrifice. But as believers we know that a much higher price has been paid for us, -- the highest price of all. You see, Jesus Christ never had to die. But He did die on the cross for us. The only man who never sinned took the punishment for all the sins that have ever been committed. May God help us to appreciate the price that was paid for us!

*Would you die for an ant or a worm or a germ? -- Of course not. Yet the God of the whole universe died for us! Jesus Christ became a man to die on the cross for us. And the more we appreciate that, the more we will worship Him.

*When will we worship Jesus? -- When we appreciate the Lord's humanity.

3. And when we discover our own frailty.

*The disciples we terrified when they saw Jesus walking on the water. Who wouldn't be? The wind was howling; the waves were pounding; the boat was tossed around, and could have easily gone down. Then out of nowhere they see this ghostly figure coming to them across the angry sea.

*They could probably only see it when the lightning flashed. And each time the lightning flashed, that ghostly figure got closer. They were terrified. No wonder vs. 26 says: "And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, 'It is a ghost!' And they cried out for fear."

*But Jesus tried to calm their fears in vs. 27 when He said, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.'' So Peter decided that he would walk on the water too.

*Look at it again in vs. 28-30:

28. Peter answered Jesus and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.''

29. So He said, "Come.'' And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

30. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!''

*Peter very quickly discovered his own frailty. Yes, he stepped out of the boat. But could Peter have taken a single step on the water without Jesus? -- Of course not.

*And before you knew it, Peter got distracted. Just like we often do, Peter got distracted by his situation. He took his eyes off of Jesus. Peter started looking at the storm instead of the Savior. And he began to sink.

*Peter didn't have a chance without Jesus, and neither would we. Could you save yourself in a raging sea several miles from shore? Most of us would have to say, "No way." How much less could we save ourselves from the everlasting death we deserve for our sins?

*Pastor James Kennedy explained: "Suppose you were trying to cross from one cliff to another about 100 feet away. It is almost a mile down to the rocks below. You have a one-inch thick piece of rope that can hold several tons. But the problem is that you only have 50 feet of rope.

*I say, 'Don't worry! I've got 50 feet of thread. We can tie my thread to your rope, then tie it to the trees and you can go across.' Would you take that offer?

-How about if it was 90 feet of rope with only 10 feet of thread?

-What if it was 99 feet of that good, strong rope and only one foot of thread?

-How about one inch of thread?

*We would never take those offers, because if we had even one inch of thread, we will be just as dead on the rocks below as if we tried to cross on a hundred feet of thread.

*The rope represents what Jesus Christ has done, and the thread represents what we have done. We must trust in Jesus alone for our salvation." (2)

*We must recognize our own frailty. And the more we do, the more we will worship the Lord. When will we worship Jesus? -- When we discover our own frailty.

4. And when we trust in the Lord's ability.

*Peter's faith may have been too weak to walk on the water, but he never gave up on Jesus! In vs. 30-32, as soon as Peter began to sink, he cried out to Jesus, "Lord, save me!"

31. And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

32. And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

*That was another miracle from the Lord! It reminds us that God is greater than any problem we will ever face. And Jesus Christ is able to calm any storm.

*In 1993, I had the honor of preaching the funeral for Bro. Moses Lee. He was 93 when he went home to be with the Lord. Some of you may have known Bro. Lee. He served for many years as a pastor in Franklin, Tensas and Winn Parishes.

*At the graveside, Bro. Lee's son told me something that happened when he was 13-years-old. He said they were down on the Boeuf River trying to have a baptismal service. The wind was blowing real hard that afternoon. It was so hard that the water had choppy waves on it, and they were afraid to get people out into the water, especially the children.

*But Bro. Moses Lee took the problem to the Lord. He led the people in prayer, and asked God to calm those waters so the baptismal service could go on. And God answered that prayer. Almost immediately, the wind and the waves died down. And they stayed down until the last person was baptized. Then the wind and the waves came back up again.

*Jesus Christ is able to calm any storm. And he cares. Jesus cares about little children getting baptized in the Boeuf River. And He cares about us.

*For reasons we do not understand, Jesus may not calm the storm we are in. But in those times, He will calm the storm in us. So trust in the Lord. And keep trusting in Jesus.

*We can fully trust in the Lord. And the more we do, the more we will worship Him. In vs. 32&33:

32. And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

33. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God.''

*Like those disciples in vs. 33, we should come to Jesus. We should worship Him, and say, "Truly You are the Son of God.'' And if you don't know Jesus as Savior and Lord, call out to Him the same way Peter cried out when he was going down: "Lord Save Me!"

*Let me tell you this morning that Jesus is able.

-He is able to help you walk where you could never walk alone.

-He is able to calm the storm.

-He is able to hold you up.

*And best of all, Jesus is able to save you when you are sinking in sin. You can call out to the Lord right now, as we go to God in prayer.

(1) Sermons.com sermon "The Awesome Power of Love" by King Duncan - John 15:1-17

(2) Adapted from "Evangelism Explosion" by Dr. D James Kennedy - p. 101 - copyright 1977

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