Matthew 14 contains three familiar stories, and each carries with it valuable lessons about God, Jesus, and us. From these stories, we not only discover more about who Jesus was, but also how we can learn and grow through our interactions with and our faith in Him.
Sermon One: Consider the motivations of Herod
- He was motivated by lust.
- He entered an alduterous marriage
- He was “pleased” by his step-daughters dancing
- He was motivated by fear.
- He feared the people’s opinion of him
- He feared his guests’ opinion of him (at the party)
Conclusion: The pursuit of pleasure and the pursuit of popularity will almost never lead to wise or God honoring decisions. While neither of these things are wrong on their own, if they are allowed to govern one’s life, they become the second master that no one can serve if they are seeking to serve God.
Sermon Two: Jesus’ process of leadership training
- You give them something to eat.
- Bring what you have to me.
- He broke the bread and gave it to the disciples.
- The disciples gave them to the crowds.
- He challenged them to take on a project they did not think they could do.
- He instructed them to rely on Him to use what they had
- We all have gifts and resources, and whatever gifts and resources we have are exactly what we need to accomplish what God has called us to do.
- Sometimes, we need to allow Him to set the agenda for how we will use those gifts and resources. Because then, they’ll be enough.
- When they gave Him control of what they had, He multiplied it and gave it back!
- He gave to them so that they could give to others.
Conclusion: We can do more than we imagine with less than we think if we are willing to let Jesus set the agenda.
Sermon Three: Peter’s RollerCoaster Night
- First he was awestruck.
- Imagine getting on the boat after the feeding miracle.
- The disciples were likely energized and excited about what would come next.
- Then he was afraid.
- The storm was unexpected
- The storm was strong
- The storm was winning
- Then he was amazed.
- Imagine seeing a man walking on the water
- Imagine realizing that man was Jesus
- Then he was acting.
- He joined Jesus in the miracle
- He experienced something no one else ever has
- Then he was anxious.
- He took his eyes off Jesus
- He was too focused on the storm
- Then he was awake.
- Jesus saved Him
- He had no more doubts about who Jesus was
Conclusion: Life is never a simple straight line. We will always experience ups and downs. There will often be storms to distract and deter us. The key is to keep your eyes on Jesus.