Who are you relying on?
"22 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. 23 And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:22-33, ESV)
Jesus provides divine Protection (v.26&27)
"26 But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
As believers no storm is so severe or so dark that Jesus can’t find us and rescue us!!
Jesus divinely Loves us! (v.28&29)
"28 And Peter answered Him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus."
“We have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us…” (1 John 4:16&17, ESV)
Jesus demonstrates Divine Power (v.32)
"32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped Him…"
“Then they were glad to take Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.” (John 6:21, ESV)
“And He got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded” (Mark 6:51, ESV)
Self-reliance always ends in defeat because self is not all knowing or all powerful.
“For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:25, ESV)
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, ESV)
Week 3 - Who are you relying on? - Matthew 14:22-33
This weekend the sermon showed us how Jesus allowed the disciples to linger in the storm because by experiencing trials they would be forced to embrace the power of God. When I think through scripture for other examples where people faced a trial and ultimately experienced God’s provision through rescue in the face of probable anxiety and fear--the first story that comes to mind is that of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
1. Before we begin today’s study from Daniel 3 - as a group, discuss the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the Fiery Furnace. What do you remember about this story?
2. Where can you see the issues of worry and anxiety being a theme in this passage?
As a group split up Chapter 3 of Daniel, have three people read: vv1-7, vv8-18, and vv19-30.
3. Read vv4-6, what is happening here?
4. How would this decree illicit worry and anxiety in the life of a follower of Christ?
5. Side note, what can be noticed by the fact that Nebuchadnezzar had to create laws requiring people to worship him?
6. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, as men of faith, refused to participate in the mandated idolatry--an act that enraged the King. They were summoned to face the king in v13. What part of being summoned to the King in this situation would illicit worry and anxiety in your life?
7. In v15 Nebuchadnezzar provided the three men another chance to worship him...a chance to recant and make things ‘well and good’. What is shocking about their response to the King in v16?
8. How does this response demonstrate that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had a peace in this very combustible situation?
9. They continue their response in vv17-18 and it is quite shocking. In this part of their response, they actually answer the questions asked by the King in v15, “And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” How do they answer this question from the King and how does it show they are not worried or anxious?
I cannot think of many more impactful statements than the one issued by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in vv16-18. They knew the consequences of not worshiping the King’s god’s and bowing down to the idol. They tell the King, we don’t have to answer you in this matter, you are not our authority. They continue to tell the King, if God desires to deliver us, then He will, but if this is not his desire, we are willing to die for our faith. We would rather burn on earth, that burn for eternity! Our God can save us, but even if he does not, he is STILL GOD and still worthy of worship...not your idols! They speak with such conviction and confidence in the midst of facing death. They show no signs of worry or anxiety--they have a Peace from God that transcends their situation, their worry, or their anxiety.