Introductory discussion questions

  1. Have you ever faced a task, appointment or commitment and really not wanted to?
  2. What did you do and what happened as a result?
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Counties evangelist Clive Cornish ascends Ben Nevis from Glen Nevis carrying a wooden cross, Clive climbs Britains highest mountain by the tourist route

In the book of Matthew we read that in a desert place Jesus healed the sick and fed a crowd of over five thousand people with five loaves and two fishes. After eating and as evening approached he sent his disciples away. The story that follows is an picture of faith and what it means for us.

Matthew 14:22-33

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

  1. What was Jesus doing while the disciples were crossing the lake?
  2. What conditions did the disciples experience while crossing the lake?
  3. How do the water conditions represent life today?
  4. How did the disciples react when they saw Jesus walking on the water?
  5. How do you feel when you look at life today?
  6. What does Jesus say to the disciples?
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Peter is an experienced fisherman, after a life time of sailing upon the Sea of Galilee he knows the lake and has experienced its many moods. Peter is probably a strong swimmer. He is also hot headed and impulsive.

  1. How does Peter react when he sees Jesus?
  2. What did Matthew say about Peter and why he started to sink?
  3. How do you think Peter felt and what did he do when he started to sink?
  4. What did Jesus do?
  5. How is this story a picture of our life?
  6. When/why do we stop watching or trusting in Jesus?
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In Matthew 8 we read about Jesus calming another storm on the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus Calms the Storm

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Matthew 8:23-27

In both of these stories Jesus remains in the boat with the disciples.

  1. What do these stories tell us about the identity of Jesus?
  2. How can we experience calm in the storms of life?
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Closing thoughts

Peter recognises Jesus as Lord. When Jesus calls Peter he climbs out of the boat and with his eyes fixed on Jesus walks over the water toward him. However, Peter takes his eyes off Jesus, looks at the waves, feels the wind and loses faith. His faith did not remain strong and he begins to sink into the turbulent sea. Jesus calls each one of us. When Jesus calls us “out of our comfort zone”, are we prepared to go? Jesus enabled Peter to walk on water and Jesus will enable us to do the impossible as long as we have faith and keep our eyes on him.

And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Matthew 21:22

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

Luke 17:5

For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Luke 1:37

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For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son so whoever believes shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

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