Don’t Jump To Quickly!!!!
Now that I stopped you from leaping to your doom, let me explain.
In Bible study we often jump much too quickly to the application of a text. We make this jump well before we have established the meaning of the passage we are studying. This is a normal mistake and one that is very easy to make. We want the Bible to speak to our lives, so we try to get it to that point as quickly as we can.
Our passage this week from Matthew 14 is one of those stories that is often the victim of being pushed toward application too quickly. Jesus walks on the water, calls Peter out of the boat, enters the boat, and the storm subsides.
Before we can say that Jesus has the storms of your life under his feet and that he can calm the raging seas of your heart, we must look at the original meaning of the text. What was Matthew trying to get his readers to see by including this story in his gospel?
The key is found in verses 27 and 33.
In 14:27, Jesus proclaims his deity by saying of himself, “It is I.” The structure of this statement is connected to God’s declaration of his name to Moses in Exodus 3:14, “I AM WHO I AM.” So when Jesus says, “It is I,” we could translate it as, “It is I AM.” Jesus is saying to the frightened disciples, “Don’t be afraid. I am God.”
In 14:33, the disciples proclaim Jesus’ deity when they say, “Truly you are the Son of God.” So what they witnessed while on that boat made them believe and declare that Jesus was God.
So the point of this passage is to tell us clearly that Jesus is God. That is the meaning of the text. Now, a very appropriate application is that he is in control of your situations and circumstances. He can bring calm to the storm in your life. Or he may send you out into the boat to experience the storm for a while so that you will see him as the only source of hope for you (see Peter getting out of the boat).
So keep bringing your class to the meaning before you bring them to the application.
Psalm 18:16 – He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters
Psalm 23:2 – He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
Psalm 65:7 – who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples,
Psalm 69:1 – To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. Of David. Save me, O God! For the watershave come up to my neck.
Psalm 69:2 – I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me.
Psalm 69:14 – Deliver me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters.
Psalm 77:16 – When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled.
Psalm 89:9 – You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.
Psalm 144:7 – Stretch out your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me from the many waters, from the hand of foreigners,
Revelation 13:1 – And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.
Revelation 21:1 – Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.