February 25 2024

Assigned Scripture

Matthew 14:22-33

22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning[a] Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here![b]

28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong[c]wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Group Response

Following the weekly gathering, you’re invited to respond to the service by engaging in group discussion.

SUMMARY:

It’s tempting to read the story of Peter in the boat as a simple moral tale: don’t doubt, and God will enable you to participate in a miracle. That’s not good news; has anyone ever manufactured more faith on-command? The Good News is that in this passage, there’s a different invitation, one that helps us journey with the God who loves us enough to come find us in the storm, and then – amidst our unbelief –  to walk as Jesus does. This sermon will explore Matthew 14’s fateful night in the boat, and help us learn how we can follow Jesus – walking, sinking, swimming, confessing – into a promise we can put weight on.

Discussion Questions

  1. Peter’s mouth gets him into trouble sometimes; but he says what the other disciples are thinking… when do you remember hearing a promise from God and thinking, “Prove it”? Did you voice that to anyone else? 
  2. Amidst his own doubt and uncertainty, Peter’s initial belief was that disciples of Jesus are capable of doing what Jesus does. What habits of Jesus seem unrealistic or unreasonable to you? (Or just frankly hard to take on, given your personality and life)? 
  3. How do you hope to take on the habits of Jesus in your own calendar? Think about the next 48 hours: how will you start?
  4. Can you remember a time when you (like Peter) tried to practice Jesus’ way, but stumbled through it? How did you work through it?
  5. This sermon had 2 calls: to get  out of the boat, or to cry “Lord, save me.” Which did you find yourself resonating with? How might we support each other in the next week around this?