Steve Alberts



It’s not about the storm you are in or the chaos it brings, it’s about the God who calms the storm and brings order to chaos. Jesus commanded Peter to come to him on the water during a huge storm. He had to trust Jesus. What do you need to trust Jesus with today as He tells you to come as well?







Sermon Audio Transcript
So the question is what makes a person just walk away like that?Because we know when we saw that that person had had a genuine expression of loving God, sincere love.But it seemed like it was only on a surface level.We love God from what we see him do. We love God because we see him provide for us. We love God, because the way he makes us feel. But are we more like Stephanie, in this skit, when we are encountered with a time when God says, move this way, move away in a way that moves you out of a comfort zone moves you out of a thing that you understand. Because when we really look at the things, when it comes down to the call of trust,he's asking us to take him out of our box of understanding and really come to the to the place of saying Do we trust him? When God says to? What's the word above me?When God says to move, do we trust him to move? I mean, that's what VBS is gonna be all about. And so right now what I want to do is look at a storywhere God called some men in a boat in a storm,to trust him.And we're gonna see what happens and learn from their response. So what I want you to do is I want you to open up your Bible to John chapter six, verse 16.And you'll notice it's a familiar story, you know what it is, it's Jesus and Peter walking on the water. But in John, He just gives us the nuts and bolts you know, like when you watch a movie, what usually is on before the movie is even released, What are you're watching on, on YouTube and on your phones, you're watching the what? You're watching the trailer, this is kind of the same thing. John gives us the kind of the nuts and bolts of this trailer. The there's two other gospel writers that record this moment, Matthew, and Mark, but we're gonna look at John just for the trailer. And then we're going to look at and really take a deep dive into Mark and Matthew. And the hope is that you will see something profound. So here's what it says in John chapter six. Looking at verse 16.When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them, the sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. And then we had road about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea, and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, it is I do not be afraid. And then they were glad to take him into the boat. And immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. Okay, so that is John's trailer. But we're going to look at another part, and Mark and so turn to Mark chapter six, verse 45. And what I want to do, we're going to look at some crucial details. While you're turning there. Let me introduce some things to you. So Mark is the second person to write a gospel Luke was the first mark is the second. Another important thing I want you guys understand is that Mark wrote his gospel in 66. Ad. Why is that important? Because every single one of Paul's letters was already written by a time Mark wrote his so matter of fact, the same year that Mark wrote his gospel was Paul's last letter to Timothy. Also, if you know your timeline, that's also when Pete When John I'm sorry, when Paul was killed.So everything that Paul had written has already been disseminated among the churches, and had been a part of this new growing understanding of the early Christians going from a Jewish mindset to a Christian mindset to a god's a Christ centered mindset. But there's still some things that we need to understand when it comes to looking at Mark and Matthew, and the way that they would have understood it because when we do that, then we see what Mark and Matthew really wanted to say to them, and thus to us when we understand those things. So Mark, paints his gospel with a big brush. He makes big, bold themes. His his Jesus, when he records is very action oriented. He wanted his readers to say, Jesus is a man of action. There's things he does, his things that he goes there's things big, powerful things.that happened with Mark. Mark wanted his readers to know that this action oriented big Jesus is one that we can trust. And so if we turn to Mark chapter and look at Mark chapter six, and look at the way Mark records the story, it starts off in verse 45.So let's read this. And I want you to notice that there's some different details in here that expound on some things, and we're gonna look at three of those. Here's what Mark says, again, in verse 45, immediately, he made his disciples get into the boat, and go before him to the other side to the Seta, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up to the mountain to pray. When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night, he came to them walking on the sea, he meant to pass by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out, for all for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately, he spoke to them and said, Take heart, it is I do not be afraid, and he got into the boat with them. And the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded for they did not understand the loaves, which happened before this moment, but their hearts were hardened. So let's take a look at what Mark has to say there are three indicators, significant indicators about what Mark wanted his readers, those early Jewish minded Christian thinkers to see what they would have seen in as Mark was, as they were reading Mark's gospel, they would have seen these things immediately, we have to be taught them. So here's what's happening. The first indicator is this is how Mark describes the storm, the ferocity of the storm, this storm was was ferocious, it was like the storm was intending to kill them. That's the idea. But when the way that Mark is writing this, he's keying into a key idea for those early Christians. Jewish people were very symbolic. It makes them fascinating back then, and even today, they're very fascinating people that culture is very symbolic. And one of the most potent Jewish symbols is water.Water is the container for chaos. It's where sin and death and evil are buried. Look at other moments, think about other moments in scripture where water is featured, and you'll see it creation, where the chaos was, when God then brought order out of the chaotic waters, the flood was where God drowned evil under the waters, the Exodus and the Red Sea. Do you see this pattern that happens? You see this, the symbol that's coming out? Is this is this moment that Mark is writing is not about the storm. What Mark wants the readers you and I to see is that these disciples were in the middle of the epitome of chaotic, evil.This storm that's raging around them is intending to kill them. But this again, is not about the storm.There's another thing I want you to look at. Mark mentions this way of that Jesus was passing by them. Now, this plagued me for years. I did not understand this. Until this study, I was kind of forced to look at I wanted to pass by it myself. Because it didn't make sense to me. Because the way that I was reading this, what it sounds like is there's the disciples in this raging storm, they think they're gonna die, and Jesus is going to hope they don't see me just gonna walk on by, they're gonna pass on by.That's not what's happening here. What Mark has done in Greek, is he has recorded the exact phrasing of another moment that those early Jewish minded Christians would have seen immediately. And that's this in Exodus chapter 33. Moses goes up to the top of Mount Sinai, and what is you want to do at the top of Mount Sinai? He wants to see God. God says to him three times, you can't see me. But what I'm going to do is I'm going to put you in the cleft of the rock, and I'm going to passby you.This connection here is called a theophany. This is when God makes himself physically present manifests Himself in a way that we can interact with him. This is the theology that's important. One of the most important the orphans, in the Jewish mindset was this right here. There's another one, when there's two more actually, when Abraham and Sarah, they get visited by these three strangers, who were they, it was God, it was a theophany, they could interact with him. What about when Daniel and Daniel when nebulizers looked in their fiery furnace? And what did you see? Not three, but four people, the Afeni, God making himself physically present so that they can interact and see him. This is what Mark is recording, not Jesus being rude. It's not about Jesus being rude. It's about Jesus being physically present in the middle of a chaotic, death blowing storm. But this is not about the storm.It's about who God is, in the middle of it, did you hear that? In the middle of the storm,God makes himself physically present manifests himself. Until this moment,I got this picture of this little boat that's caught between two huge waves can we say it this way,was caught in the cleft of the waves. And Jesus passed by not to disguise himself, but to reveal His glory to the disciples. This is not about the store.So the third thing I want you to see here, and it's the way that Mark talks about how Jesus introduced himself. So he says this, he says, Don't be afraid, take heart in his eye. Now, this isn't Jesus going, don't be scared. Don't be scared. Just just it's me. You know, when you're walking in a dark house, and your your loved ones are in there, and you don't want to scare them. So you're like, your whistle loudly. You're trying to make yourself known so they don't get scared when they see you. This is not that.Jesus in the Greek says this. He says Take heart and he uses the phrase, Echo me.Now translate it into English. We have to the translators, English translators have to obey and follow English syntax. But what Mark is saying is recording Jesus saying here is take heart?I am.Do you hear that? Jesus is using a powerful name of God, Yahweh. This is not about a storm. This is about men, people being caught in the waves of chaos, of destruction of possible death. And the God Yahweh making himself manifesting Himself in a way that we can interact with him and then saying I am Do not be afraid.This is not about a storm at all.I mean, what does this mean for us in this room? The truths that Mark is trying to get that those early Christians when they read this word when Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Right. I saw some of your faces. You're like, oh, yeah, I get it. Now. This is what's happening. How does this relate to us? Mark wants us to actively know who Jesus is. He is God. Yahweh, smasher of waves is present with you, Yahweh, the one who silences the winds is present with you, Yahweh, the one whose glory invades fear and empowers the human spirit is present with you.And if you're a Christian, is in you. What? This is not about the storm. This is about a God who is worthy to be worshipped. And we can trust this God, no matter what he calls us to do to fall back into it emptiness, we trust him, because he's worthy of that trust.Because we know that he loves us in a level that we can't even understand. He wants the best and he's made himself so that we can trust him.Now, I could stop right now complementation and hundreds of people would come to Christ right now.But I don't want to do that.What I want to do now is I want to take us to another gospel writer, Matthew. Because if we're looking at this mark paints these bold themes, this big picture, we understand who God is, we understand who Jesus is claiming himself to be at this moment. But Mark or but Matthew takes us on a whole different journey, because the question now is, what do we do with that? Personally, I want you to think about this. Personally, Matthew wants us to identify with Peter. So turn your Bibles to Matthew chapter 14.And we're going to read this. And I want you to seea another type of pattern.Matthew chapter 14.And we're gonna start off atverse 27.Verse 27, says this.But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, Take heart, Agha me, it is I, I am, do not be afraid. And Peter answered him, Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water. And he said, Come.So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and began to sink, he cried out, Lord saved me. And Jesus immediately reset his hand and took hold of him saying to him, Oh, you have little faith? Why did you doubt and when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped Him saying, truly, you are the Son of God.What Matthew here is trying to do is connect us with another picture that an oldJewish minded Christian thinker would see immediately is this. It's called the pattern of redemption. You can see here pretty clearly, chaos is realized, oh, my gosh, I'm gonna die.Then there's a crying out because of the chaos. And then there's a call out from the chaos.And then there's a chaos that has been conquered.You can see this with Peter goes like this. Peters chaos. What's his chaos?The waves, the waves in the wind are his chaos. What's Peters cry, Lord, if it's you, tell me to come out to the water. And what's Jesus has call one word, come. And then we see Jesus or Jesus is rescue. When Peter began to sink, he called out for another call another way to say Lord saved me, I need you as a savior. And Jesus reaches in and rescues him. Again, we see this pattern, Matthew picks up on this pattern. It's all throughout the psyche, of those old Christians, I say old Christians, they were old to me, with those those early Christians, they this was embedded in their culture and in their psyche, that this pattern of redemption, how God worked, you see it again, in the creation account, the flood account, the crossing of the Jordan River, it's even if you look, it's built into the baptism, testimonies that even carry on today. This pattern of redemption, I want us to look closely at one, the one that is most profound for those early Jewish Christians is this. It's Exodus chapter 14, which will turn their turn to extra chapter 14.And I want us to see this, because Matthew wants us to personalize ourselves with this, and how Peter reacts to this. So Exodus chapter 14.We're gonna start off in verse 10.So we've seen the pattern according to what Peter seen in Matthew, listen to this.When Pharaoh drew near Now, remember, the plagues have already happened. And now they're fleeing out of Egypt. The Israelites are and now they're caught wherethey're caught on the shore of the Red Sea. Who are who's chasing them?Pharaoh's army. Are they caught in the storm? Are they are they caught in this chaos? Here's what happens when the Pharaoh Jr, the people of IsraelLift it up their eyes and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord and they said to Moses, is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you've taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us and bring us out of Egypt? Is this not what we said to you in Egypt? Leave us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians for would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.And Moses said that the people fear not stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord which he took which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians, whom you see today, you shall never see again, the Lord will fight for you. And you have only to be silent.Verse 15, the Lord said to Moses, Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to what's the word above me to move forward.Lift up your staff and stretch it outyour hand over the sea and divided that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground, and that will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, so they will still go in after them. And I will get the glory over Pharaoh's army.Do you see the same pattern here? It's a pattern of redemption. First is chaos. The Israelites were caught between a large body of water and a large body of Pharaoh's army. Both of them were intent to kill them, the water and the army. They were stuck. The gap was closing fast. Chaos around them cause them great fear. The fear of death surrounded and gripped the Israelites. fear and death, surrounded and gripped the disciples. And Peter.The fear of inescapable death was in the boat. It's no wonder that they thought that Jesus was a ghost because nothing could have lived in the environment that they were seeing in the storm.And then there's this cry out, did you hear the Israelites cry out? Their cry was one of desperation. Those stuck Israelites were desperate for answers. Why God? What's your purpose here God?Peters cry was a cry of desperation as well. But it's desperate for proof. Who are you reallyprove, you say who prove you are who you say you are. And this sounds bold, doesn't it? This sounds bold for Peter to say this. But this boldness,I think, is masked fear.I don't know what to do with this.And then Jesus's response was the same as God's response.And it's from the his response was the only only the only person that could have responded in this way have come, is Yahweh God. The only one who could respond to the Israelites cry to moveis Yahweh God.Only Yahweh can issue the call to come. Only Yahweh can issue the same call to move. When Peter heard this call, there's only one response. Come.Peter didn't weigh the pros and the cons. He didn't wait for consensus. He didn't wait for others in the boat. Peter didn't wait for Jesus to reassure him, God you can do it.Peers jumped out of the boat and went. The same was true for the Israelites. The move the call to move and they moved.There was a call out the call out was from Yahweh God. Jesus said comeGod said move.Then the rescue happened to Peter and happened to Israelites. The waves kept crashing into Peter.I can imagine he started getting beaten around by the waves as he was trying to walk on the water.The waves became more powerful for Peter than Jesus's call to move to come.Peter heard the chaos instead of the one who brings order from chaos, and he began to sink and suddenly he needed a rescuer.He reached down, grabbed Peter and immediately took them up into the boat. The same thing we see for the Israelites. They move through the part and see what the soldier said kept coming and closing in on them. The Israelites for the Israelites the roar of the pharaohs army was louder than the roar ofGod's call to move.God brought the Red Sea back together over Pharaoh's military, and put the Israelites on the eastern side of the sea in rescue.Matthew wants us to connect to Peter, that his experience is also our experience. Think about this, it's not about the storm. Think about what's going on in your life. And I want to say to you the same thing that Matthew and Mark want you to know. It is not about the storm, what is going on in your life is not about what's going on. There's something more that's going on. It's about the call and response in the middle of that storm, to come to move. Because we can relate to Peter we become confident that we can love and worship God for who he is. And because of God's presence with us, and in us, we can respond to the call to come to be where he is. And because of God's presence with us, and in us, we can now respond even to the call to move.He is going he is going always and now he is calling us to be where he is. And in every moment, he is also our Savior, our rescuer. This is who God is. This is the idea that Matthew wants us to get across. Because what is happening in our lives.It's about what God is going to do in the middle of whatever storm is going on around you.And you don't have to, to cower in fear in a boat, you don't have to question you can because you know that your way God is with you ever present with you.He is the one who silences the chaos. He is the one who smashes it down. He's the one who brings order and calm from it. And he is the one who calls you out of it. And you can respond, there's no more fear, no more fear, only a response to be where Jesus is calling you to be.And nowwe can close and ask you what is it that God is calling to you?Every one of us has some kind of storm that's really significant or are going through when now have been been through through mediwhat is happening right now? Is God calling you to trust him? Is he calling you to fall back?So as we begin this time, with invitation, what the invitation to you is this as we sing, it's really a time for us to kind of think about what God is doing.To with you and through you in your hearts. And we have sanctified a couple of minutes in your busy work week and said this part of the week is just for you to respond. How ever God leads you. Some of you may have heard the call towards being his child for the first time what I call the grace embrace for the first time.You want to respond to that you can do that some of you may be feeling like you know what I've been I've been wanting a church home a family of faith and this is it. This is a time for you to come. We want you to respond However, God is leading you you can trust him. You can fall backlet me pray. Father, we thank youfor the way that you love us.We thank you for how you are able to empower our spirits to in to to embolden us to do the things that you've asked us to do. And father right now in this moment, however you're calling, however you're leading however you're stirring our heartsgive us the same kind of courage you gave Peter to respond. The same kind of courage you gave to the Israelitesright now is the time for us to say we trust you. We trust you Jesus.I'm gonna fall back