The American Wisdom Series

Matthew #2535

A wise person would therefore pay close attention to Christ's instructions.

The feeding of the five loaves of bread and the two fishes to the 5,000 men besides women and children and the gathering of the 12 baskets full of fragments has now been accomplished by the disciples, those who are disciplined in the Word of God, those who know Him and love Him enough to receive His instructions and obey His commands (Jn. 14:15). And so it is that immediately (straightway) following their serving and gathering they were given further instructions from the Lord.

Here is what He told them to do:

Matthew 14:22
And straightway Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before Him unto the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.
To "constrain" is to "necessitate" meaning this is something you need to do for your own good. The picture we "see" here is Christ telling His disciples to "get into a ship" and "go (across the sea) before Him" unto the "other side". Now that may not seem like a very difficult thing to do except for one thing. In these last days, "the sea" is going to become quite stormy because there is going to be a "beast rise up out of the sea" (and even has) and cause the "sea and the waves to roar", making the trip for those who do not have Christ pretty rough and frightening if not impossible. A wise person would therefore pay close attention to Christ's instructions.

By the way, here is the apostle John's vision of the One World Political System, aka the New World Order, rising up out of "the sea".

Rev. 13:1
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
Of course one needs to know that "waters" are symbolic of peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. In other words, the multi-headed one world political/economic beast system rises up from among the people.
Rev. 17:15
And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
When we get to Matthew chapter 24 we will see that Christ spoke about this rising up of the nations alongside each other and that it would be the beginning of "sorrows", which means "labor pangs", those painful contractions which increase in strength and duration right up to the birth of a new age.

And fitting to the terminology of "sea and waves" in today's study, Dr. Luke describes the distress of nations as being with perplexity which means in a "quandary" where there is no way out, with the "sea and the waves roaring"! In other words, all this movement by the powers of the beast as it rises causes the sea (peoples) and the waves (actions upon the people) to roar!

Luke 21:25
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring*;
If you follow the instructions of Christ and get on board the ship, call it the ark of covenant of these last days, then you won't have any problem going to the other side... as long as you stay focused on Him! A word to the wise.

* The deeper student might refer to Jude 13 concerning the "raging waves of the sea".

Let us return to Matthew 14 where Christ now sends the multitudes away and goes up into a mountain by Himself to talk to the Father, i.e. pray.

Matthew 14:23
And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone.
Christ was only alone there in the flesh. Nevertheless, He will soon come down from on high, i.e. come down from the mountain, and walk upon the sea. And as far as the time is concerned, it is now after dusk and "darkness" has come, so let's check up on the disciples and see how they are doing.
[24] But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
Hey look, the ship is in the midst of the sea being tossed with waves and the wind is contrary, meaning it is striving against them "mightily" (vs. 30)! Perhaps we should make note of the fact that in Mark's account we find the disciples fighting back against the wind, "toiling in rowing (Mark 6:48)".
tossed, basanizo, bas-an-id'-zo, Greek 928; from Greek 931 (basanos); to torture :- pain, toil, torment, toss, vex.
Interestingly enough, this is the same word (basanizo) translated "tormented" in Rev. 9:5.
wind, anemos, an'-em-os, Greek 417; from the base of Greek 109 (aer); wind; (plural) by implication (the four) quarters (of the earth) :- wind.
contrary, enantios, en-an-tee'-os, Greek 1727; from Greek 1725 (enanti); opposite; figurative antagonistic :- (over) against, contrary.
By the way, how's your boat doing these days? One thing is for sure, if you have watched the news or picked up a paper later then you should have no doubts about the fact that the waters are mighty turbulent out there!
Matthew 14:25
And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
This fourth watch (3 AM - 6 AM) is the darkest part of the night, which occurs just before the dawn of a new day. The little ship, "Miss I Can Cut It", is out there in the midst of the sea rockin' and rollin' and now the disciples look and see someone "walking on the sea"! Hey, that'll get your attention!
[26] And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
One can certainly understand that this is something out of the ordinary, a supernatural occurrence for sure. Just try to imagine yourself in their place! Obviously they were pretty "shaken" up because they couldn't make who or what it was and so they thought it was a phantasma, which is the Greek word for spirit and from whence we get our word "phantom". In today's lingo we would simply say "They thought that they had seen a ghost." Nevertheless, they were "shaking (wavering) in their boots" and "they cried out for fear" meaning they were "terrified"! In other words they had a bad case of phantophobia!
spirit, phantasma, fan'-tas-mah, Greek 5326; from Greek 5324 (phantazo); (properly concrete) a (mere) show ("phantasm"), i.e. spectre :- spirit.

cried out, krazo, krad'-zo, Greek 2896; a primary verb; properly to "croak" (as a raven) or scream, i.e. (genitive) to call aloud (shriek, exclaim, intreat) :- cry (out).

fear, phobos, fob'-os, Greek 5401; from a primary phebomai (to be put in fear); alarm or fright :- be afraid, + exceedingly, fear, terror.

There is a great lesson in all of this for us, which of course is why it is written! So let's continue and calmly observe the three things Jesus says straightway (immediately) to the boat full of hyper-disciples.
[27] But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying,Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
(1.) "Be of good cheer". This means to have courage and take comfort.
cheer, tharseo, thar-seh'-o, Greek 2293; from Greek 2294 (tharsos); to have courage :- be of good cheer (comfort).  Compare Greek 2292 (tharrheo).
(2.) "It is I". Always look to Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the One we love and obey, the One who has ALL power and gives us comfort and peace of mind. In fact, in Luke 10:19 it is written that He has "given unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." The point is, trust in Christ and don't go around seeing and imagining phantasmas that aren't there!

(3.) "Be not afraid". This we are instructed many times in the scriptures because the Spirit of God is NOT the spirit of fear which is faithlessness!

2 Tim. 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Trust in Him for He has given us the spirit of power (Be of good cheer) and love (It is I) and a sound mind (Be not afraid) whereby we do not go off half "krazo"!
Matthew 14:28
And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
Uh oh! The big fisherman... ol' lovable, huggable Peter... already feeling a little bewildered (Mark 6:51) by his "crying out for fear" is now going to show everyone what great courage he really has, which of course will negate the former lack thereof... if he is successful. This ought to be good.

Do you think that you could step out and take on the raging sea driven by the "anemos" from vs. 24 above?

[29] And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
Look, Peter did it, even if only for a short time. Remember what water is symbolic of... people and nations and tongues? You see, the Word of God will lift you above the waters and the roaring waves, but you must stay focused on Him, i.e. on His Word, and trust in His power!

If you let the "beast" intimidate you, you will surely begin to sink like a rock (actually "Peter" means rock). Here then is what happened to Peter whom I am sure is more than happy to open himself up and lay bare his experience to help his brothers and sisters learn and understand what we need to know in these last days to have peace of mind and the victory over the beasts of Rev. 13. Then too, never forget that this is the man to whom Christ said in Matthew 16:18 "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

[30] But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
That's right! Peter was frightened big time! The four winds were a huffin' and puffin' and its forcefulness scared Peter. Again, if you take your focus off of the Word of God and look at the awesome strength of the beast and let him intimidate you, you are going to sink. It kind of reminds one of old Goliath who intimidated the whole army of Israel except one shepherd lad, David, who came to him in the name of the Lord.
boisterous = ischuros, is-khoo-ros', Greek 2478; from Greek 2479 (ischus); forcible (literal or figurative) :- boisterous, mighty (-ier), powerful, strong (-er, man), valiant.
[31] And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
The word "doubt" means to be double minded or to "waver". Be steadfast and focused on the Word of God and do not let the awesomeness of the beast cause you to waver in your faith.
doubt, distazo, dis-tad'-zo, Greek 1365; from Greek 1364 (dis); properly to duplicate, i.e. (mental) to waver (in opinion) :- doubt.
[32] And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
When His Spirit enters into your ship and you show forth courage and love and maintain that spirit of a sound mind in these troubled days, others will "see" He is with you and they will glorify the Son of God. The sea and the waves are going to roar! It is part of the plan! Just always remember that there is calm and peace in your ship when Christ is with you.
[33] Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
You know, it is written in Mark's account that once the wind ceased the disciples were quite amazed at their own behavior, as I'm sure many of us have been with ours (I'm still amazed at times). It should be mentioned however, that their behavior did not mean that they did not fully and whole heartedly believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. You see, Christ's disciples do not need a show of miracles to make them believe. Creation alone is evidence of that! What it has to do with is the lack of trusting and knowing that He has all power to save and to calm the sea and to give comfort to those who draw near to Him.
Mark 6:51-52
And He went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

[52] For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

Remember this happened straightway after the miraculous feeding of the five loaves and two fishes to the multitudes.After that experience you would think it would be on your mind for some time to follow, wouldn't you? And not just the power of the miracle but the knowledge of His plan and purpose.

Nevertheless, in as much as today's lesson has to do with His power over the waters and our focus on His glory and strength, it is fitting that we read the great 29th Psalm which needs no commentary other than a reminder to say that His voice is His Word.

Psalm 29:1-11
A Psalm of David.
Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.

[2] Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

[3] The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.

[4] The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

[5] The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.

[6] He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

[7] The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.

[8] The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.

[9] The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

[10] The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.

[11] The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

You can have that blessing of peace right now if you will listen to His Voice instead of following the traditions of men. And now the conclusion of the 14th chapter of Matthew. The ship and all its crew have arrived at Gennesaret which means "Sea of the Garden".
Matthew 14:34
And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret.
[35] And when the men of that place had knowledge of Him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto Him all that were diseased;
They were enthused about Christ's power to heal "all that were diseased".
[36] And besought Him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.
"Beseeching Him" is what shows their faith and those who have it know that just by touching His righteousness (His garment) they can be made completely whole.

Well, what a day in the life of a disciple! And to think some believe Christians lead dull and boring lives! Go figure!

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

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