Lesson 187-July 7, 2019
Lesson: “It Must Be A Ghost” Part II
Scripture: Matthew 14:22-33, Key Passage Matthew 14:26-27
Lesson Goal: To have a better understanding that Jesus can calm any heart in the midst of the storm.
Introduction: Please read today’s Scripture with the parallel passages found in Mark and John (Mark 6: 45-52 and John 6: 14-21).
In the context of today’s Scripture, what does Matthew include that Mark and John do not mention? Matthew tells us a story within the story.
(v26) And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
In the midst of the darken sea the disciples saw something and what they saw caused them great fear. They were terrified! (Greek-”tarasso” -”to be terrified”) “The only thing they (disciples) can deduce is that they are seeing a disembodied spirit of some kind. Ghost-Greek (phantom) in v26 refers to a spector or apparition from the realm of the dead.” Blomberg The only explanation they could offer was that this was a ghost. In their minds they understood no one can walk on water.
Question: By the reaction of the disciples, how can we determine that they, like us, were a work in progress?
Question: What miracle had they (disciples) witnessed just a few hours earlier?
Question: What was the meaning and significant truths from Jesus feeding of the multitudes?
Question: What factors played a part in the disciples’ summation that it is a “ghost”?
Please read Matthew 8:23-27. What is one major and significant difference in the storm of Matthew 8 and Matthew 14 concerning the presence of Jesus?
As we look at the parallel scriptures of this passage we (followers of Jesus) can take heart that Jesus sees us no matter the darkness or no matter the storm and just as He prayed for the disciples He prays for us.
Please read Romans 8:34. What does it mean to you personally (as a follower of Jesus) that Jesus makes inter-cession for you?
Warren Wiersbe adds some practical insight to help us. “If you knew that Jesus Christ was in the next room, praying for you, would it give you new courage to endure the storm and do His will? Of course it would. He is not in the next room, but He is in heaven interceding for you. He sees your need, He knows your fears, and He is in control of the situation.”
A very transparent admission and application by your writer; when I read Wiersbe’s last sentence from the preceding paragraph I have no problem with the words “He sees your need” nor with the words, “He knows your fears” but where I find the battle often raging in my own life and heart is with the words “He is in control of the situation.” The battle is not a battle concerning the powers or abilities of Jesus nor is it a battle that Je-sus is the Master of all situations or circumstances but it is often a personal battle of surrendering to the truth of “Jesus is in control of every situation”.
From our side of life and perspective it is a battle of faith and trust to believe and know that “Jesus has got this” no matter the outcome! (my quotation marks). Please read Hebrews 4:14-16. Some of life’s greatest battles of trust are fought on these battlefields of “whys” and “how comes”. In the words of James Dobson, “There is security and rest in the wisdom of the eternal Scriptures. The Lord can be trusted-even when He can’t be tracked. Of this you can be certain! Jehovah, King of Kings and Lord of lords, is not pacing the cor-ridors of heaven in confusion over the problems in your life! He hung the worlds into space. He can handle the burdens that have weighed you down, and He cares about you deeply. For a point of beginning He says ‘Be still and know I am God’ (Psalm 46:10).” Dan Akin states “during the time the disciples were battling this wind, Jesus was holding both the disciples and the wind in His hands. We too need to remember these truths as we walk through difficult circumstances. Jesus is not unaware of what we’re going through. He is sovereign over our lives and trials.”
(v27) But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” On this oc-casion Jesus speaks three short concise purposeful truths to the disciples. Each showing His compassion, love, and concern for His disciples. Each offering comfort, strength, and encouragement. “Be of good cheer”, which literally means to “take courage, have courage.”
When Jesus spoke to the disciples the focus was no longer on trying to identify the visual but a wonderful recognition of the audible. Even with the storm surging, the waves pounding, fear raging, the disciples imme-diately recognized the Master’s voice. They recognized the voice of Jesus in the middle of the storm. When Jesus called out to them they quickly recognized the voice of the Lord.
Question: Has the Lord ever called out to you in the midst of your raging storm? Please prayerfully explain how He called out to you.
Jesus said to the disciples-”Take courage”, “take heart”. Before Jesus gave attention to the storm upon the
water, He spoke to the storm raging in the hearts of the disciples. “Take courage”, ‘be of good cheer”, “It is I”; “do not be afraid”.
John MacArthur makes a great point. “It was not the time for an explanation of why He was there, of what He planned to do next, or of why He had not come sooner. It was time to give courage to still the storm that raged within the disciples, even before stilling the one that raged without.”
(v27) “It is I” is read in the literal, “I am”. This is Jesus’ conscious deliberate echo of the divine name of Yahweh, as in Exodus 3:14, “I Am is here”.
(v27) “do not be afraid” What did it mean for the disciples when Jesus told them not to be afraid?
Question: How does Jesus speak to us when our hearts are afraid?
Question: As a follower of Jesus Christ, do I have the same assurance that Jesus is with me in my storms just as He was with the disciples in their storms? **Pleases read Matthew 28:20.
As we come to the close of today’s Life Focus lesson may God help us all to understand that no matter the storm, no matter the darkness, no matter the outcome, we are never outside His care or love.
Paul put it this way:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present,
nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the
love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
NO NOT EVEN THE STORM!