Aug 10 Sermon
Who’s in charge here?
Jesus took charge when the crowds were with him in the deserted place. He told his disciples what to do and he told the crowds what to do and by obedience the disciples served and the crowd was fed. Immediately after the event, Jesus was still in charge. He “made his disciples get into a boat” and he dismissed the crowd.
Later, when the disciples were at sea and the waves were beating against the boat, Jesus came walking on the water. He was in charge of the water, he could walk on it.
He was in charge when he commanded Peter to come and as long as Peter remained focused and obedient, Jesus enabled him to walk on the water. When he lost his focus and started to sink, Jesus was still in charge and he reached out to Peter who had now begun to doubt. He rescued Peter from the jaws of death in the sea. He gave Peter a ribbing, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” But he did not leave Peter to sink into his dreams.
Finally, he got into the boat with disciples and the wind ceased. That is when those in the boat said to Jesus, “Truly you are the son of god.”
Who’s in charge of you? Are you in charge of yourself or is your spouse the boss? How about the State of Indiana or the United States of America? To some extent, each of these is true. It was true of Peter and it is true of each of us. Peter lost his focus and became afraid. His fear fed on itself and he started to sink. In his panic and fear, he cried out “Lord, save me.” Did you notice how Peter’s adventure started? He did not ask Jesus if he too could walk on the water. No, Peter gave Jesus instructions, “If it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” When Jesus told him to “come” Peter stepped out with great confidence and walked on the water. Imagine how proud he must have been. The others did not even try. He gave it a shot and now look at him. But then, when he was sinking and about to die, Peter got things right – “Lord, save me.” It was not until Peter gave up the illusion that he was in charge that he could cry out to Jesus. Do you ever find yourself telling Jesus what to do in your life? How does that work for you.
Much of the debate in Paul’s letter to the Romans is also about who’s in charge. In spite of what some say, Romans is not about what is wrong with Israel and right with Christians. It is about who has the power to save.