Bible Study Series On Miracles: Step Out Of The Boat!!!!!!!

Symbols in Miracles
How the Miracles Jesus performed relate to Christian Living
Week Three: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31)
Step Out Of The Boat!!!!!!!!!!!!!
May 10, 2011

Reference Verse: Matthew 14:22-33.

Summary: We all know the story. The Disciples go ahead of Jesus in a boat while Jesus ascends the mountain to be by himself for a period of time. Things get rough when the disciples encounter a rough storm and notice Jesus walking on the water towards them. They think He is a ghost, but He tells them that He is Jesus and Peter tells Him to command that Peter steps out and walks towards Him on the water. Well, Jesus does so Peter steps out. Things go smooth for a few seconds. Peter keeps his eyes focused on Jesus and walks on the water. Then Peter starts to notice the wind and the waves and starts to sink. Jesus says it is because Peter has little faith and He picks Peter up and they both get into the boat where the Disciples affirm Jesus is the Son Of God.


-The boat the disciples were in represents our comfort zone. If we had it our way, we would pitch a tent, grab a sleeping bag, and live in the tent our entire lives eating cookies and cake.
– The waves that were crashing represent our failures and our fears. Sometimes it seems like the more we try, the higher the waves get. It is easy for man to remember his failures, even easier for God to forget.
– The blowing wind is Satan trying to knock us down and whisper negative thoughts into our ears. When we work for God, we are Satan’s enemy. In movies, the villain tries to take a life to prove who he is. In reality, Satan tries to take our souls.

What Does It Mean?

This story IS the Christian life. In the prior weeks, we talked about what becoming a Christian is and how we can share the Word with everyone. This week is about us. Let’s face it, we are often hard headed when it comes to God. We love Him, we worship Him, we pray to Him, and He appreciates all of that. The problem is we’re sitting at the bar of Life and God is calling our tab. We drink from His mercy and we feast on Redemption, but when God calls us to do something for Him we hesitate.

God isn’t going to take our lives from us if we don’t respond to His call. He also isn’t going to stop calling. This story is solely about Peter. The other disciples may as well not even been there. When we accept God we tell Him to call us to His way and His will for our lives. Then when He does, we may head towards it at first. As Peter stepped out of the boat, he was probably all for Jesus in his heart and soul. It is hard to imagine how much courage it would take to step out on crashing waves.

Peter keeps his eyes focused on Jesus and he does fine briefly. Then the waves crash and the wind howls and Peter begins to panic and sink into the water. At first, Peter had tremendous faith in Jesus and stepped out. Then the world around him took hold and he fell where he was once following Jesus’s plan. When we are called to do things God wants us to do in our lives, the tasks are so great it is often like we are stepping out on the water.

Stepping out of our comfort zones is such a difficult thing to do. We would like to think that simply accepting Jesus is enough and we will never be called to do trying tasks again. Remember the saying “God calls us to God-sized tasks”, because it is true. God even called His own Son to die for the sin of all mankind. How hard that must have been for Jesus to come to grips with initially. But , as Christians, we are called to also sacrifice our time to save this sinful world through selfless-service.

You see, it is hard for man to forgive ourselves of the failures we experience in life. But we fail to realize that God has already forgiven us. We carry the baggage, the pain, the suffering, and the hurt everywhere we go. When we go to the grocery store, we stuff it in our trunk. When we go to work, we stuff it in our back pocket. But when we read the Word, we should realize the need to lay it down. We have all heard the saying “Lay it down at the feet of the Cross”, but people often say after they lay it down, they pick it up again. Try this next time: Throw It In The Trash!!!!. That is all our failures are anyway. And who wants to dig through a dumpster for rubbish? Remember Isaiah 64: 6 “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” That means that everything we do, the good and bad, are equally filthy. But when we are doing God’s work through salvation from His Son, we are honoring God.

There is probably something right now God is calling you to that you just can’t find the courage to step up to. Maybe you feel like it is too hard or God came to you by mistake. God does not make mistakes, He also makes each of us for a unique purpose. There are over 300 billion people in the world. They were each created for a purpose, call created to do God’s will. It is hard for us to step out onto the water. We feel that it is impossible to do such daring things. The waves flash our failures before us and Satan whispers in the end. But we need to remember Luke 18:27: “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

Questions For Discussion

1) Do you see yourself in the story?
2) Why is it hard for man to let go of certain failures we have dealt with in our lives?
3) What has God called you to recently that you have answered to?


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My name is Charlie Tinsley and I blog about The Bible. I post theology and have leaned towards an emphasis on domestic violence and forgiveness. I serve as Ambassador for the state of Virginia in the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse. I hold a Masters of Divinity from Eastern Mennonite Seminary and Bachelors Degree in Science in Religion Summa Cum Laude with a Biblical Studies Minor from Liberty University. I have studied in the two “major fields” of theological thought. I am married and have been for several years and I currently reside in Virginia.

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