Sermon / Pr. Lucas Albrecht / Season Of Pentecost Proper 14 Sunday August 13th 2017 - / Matthew 14:22-33 / It is me
Text: Matthew 14:22-33
Theme: It is me.
Intr - Say you are in the middle of a deep problem. You feel so worn out and tired, and at the same time so awake with the adrenaline running in your veins that you can scarcely find a place to rest or a word of comfort. Suddenly, your phone rings. Which of these would be of great comfort to you?
-Hello! Is it mr/mrs so and so? We have a special offer for you today!
-Hello! Do you have five minutes to answer a survey and qualify for free breakfast tickets?
-Hello! This is (so and so, the person with which you have an issue). I want to talk to you.
-Hello! It’s me!
Three words. But still I believe the last one is the first one you would choose. The person doesn’t even need to say their name because you know. All they need to say is: it’s me” and you know them right away.
Matthew tells us about people in the midst of a storm. The disciples. And someone who comes to them. Jesus himself.
But prior to advancing into the details, one thing may call our attention here: didn’t Jesus know that a storm was coming?
He did. Even so, he sends the disciples through to the other side.
Now, what happens when parent think they can prevent their children to go through any type of suffering, or disappointment, or loss? They will not only fail in that but also their kids may be not be not prepared for what lies ahead in their lives. Because there is going to be lots of them.
We all know what the disciples had to endure after Christ’s return to heaven. How would they face all of that if they were used to Jesus solving all their problems at His finger’s snap? Have you ever thought of that? What is happening now may be used by God to prepare us to what lies ahead. If we remember the same Peter that suffered from fear of death and denied Jesus later became one of the stalwarts of Christian faith.
Did Jesus know what was going to happen? Yes, he did.
Did Jesus leave them alone? Not at all.
He comes through the storm and stands before them.
He says: it is me.
Can you hear that voice? It is familiar. It is close. It is comforting. It brings hope. It is me.
I am pretty sure your boat is being tossed by some waves right now. They can be small, they can be medium, and they can be pretty large. Remember: They are neve bigger than Christ. They can never prevent Christ to come close. They will never block the Saviour away from coming next to you and saying: it is me. Do not be afraid.
The disciples doubted. That’s so us too...Whenever we are led astray of the Word to follow our own thoughts, or to follow someone else’s voice, we are on the verge of doubting. Maybe, on the verge of starting to sink in faith.
And notice that the disciples had just seen a couple hours earlier Jesus making more than 5,000 people have food enough to be satisfied out of 5 loaves and 2 fish. Still, they were so scared by the storm that they couldn’t even realize that Jesus wouldn’t leave them alone. They thought it was a phantom, a ghost. Really? People who walk with Christ still would have those silly superstitions of old? Yes, this makes me remember those times when we allow worldly ideas and even superstitions enter our lives to a point that they blur Christ’s voice saying: it is me.
He did so much with so little. When you think there’s little left to help you. That the situation is too hard to be overcame. Remember. It is me.
Peter still tried to insert a little bit of self help to make his fellow mates sure that Jesus was there. Then he had to go a little deeper, literally, to be remembered that we need to realize that we need to distrust ourselves and look firmly to the Author and finisher of our faith, Jesus, our Saviour. He comes close and you can recognize His voice from His Word. It’s me!
Now, consider these actions we see in s Matthew 14:
-Feeding and caring – Jesus cared for that people so much so that he simply couldn’t turn His back and go away. “It is enough. Time to go home and rest”. He did whatever he could to make sure they would be dismissed not only with their bellies but mainly with their hearts full of the eternal food of the Word.
He cares for you. He will feed your heart. Always.
-Praying. Where was Jesus before they saw Him on the water. HE was alone praying. Now listen carefully – if Jesus Himself spared time alone for praying (not only a couple minutes), how can we, poor imperfect mortals think we can live our Christian life without prayer? Besides, in the midst of your stormy life, say with Luther: Pray and let God worry.
-Coming to them. He will always come to us. Especially knowing that by our own strength we can’t come to Him. It is me. Fear not.
-Reaching out his Hand. Now think of what Jesus could have said. “Well, Peter, it was your choice. Why don’t you find your way out right now? I told you. I keep telling you but you never listen to me. I am just curious now to see what you will come up with to get out of this situation”. No, instead, He immediately reached out and saved him.
Notice also: He reprimands him/them. God’s Law is always pointing out how stubborn we are sometimes in trying to insist in our own strength when his hand is at hand.
-Comforting them. After calming the waves Jesus might as well have waved good bye and go back praying alone. Mission accomplished. He prefers to come aboard, though. To be with them. To calm them down and comfort them.
-Worshipping Him – the disciples recognize in Him the author of the miracle.
Who do we credit things to after the storm is gone?
-What is meant to be is meant to be?...”It was written in the stars” ?
“It is me", says Jesus. "The one who saved you. The one who brought you peace and comfort.” He is the one who is there for you every day, every moment. Everywhere.
Jesus sent them out to sea even maybe knowing as God what was coming next. Jesus sends you out to the stormy world with the good news of the Gospel. With the vocation He gave you wherever you are. Parent, son, spouse, professional, leader, employee, friend, helper…He will come to you. He will be with you. He will hear your cry and will reach his hand immediately. He answers our cries.
Jesus invites you to come in and stay with Him. He comes to you in His word. He came to you in your Baptism, your conversion. He comes to you at His Holy Table bringing assurance to your heart that whatever the situation in life may be you can always hear His voice: It is me.
Cc – Now imagine if your phone really rang in the midst of your troubles. And you could hear that special voice saying: it’s me.
(Phone, voice of P. Ted “Hello! It’s me. I am your God, your Saviour, your best Friend. Do not be afraid. Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you and you will glorify me. I have even the hairs of your head numbered, I have your name engraved on the palm of my hand. Do not be afraid. Come to me when you are tired of your heavy loads. I will give your rest. Do not be afraid. It’s me)
You actually can hear Him. Every day. He speaks through his Word to your heart. He reaches His hand out to you. He holds you all the way. Do not be afraid. Nothing can prevent Him to be close to you all the time.