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Truly You Are the Son of God!

August 10, 2014

Jesus saves Peter from the sea

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Ninth Sunday after Pentecost                                       Trinity Lutheran Church

10 August 2014                                                                Murdock, NE


+ Jesu Juva +


Matthew 14:22-33


Their little boat is tormented by the wind and the waves. He comes to them. Walking on the stormy sea. Trampling the chaotic waves. The sea is His creation. He rules over the wind and the waves when they get out of control.


He is the Lord whose Holy Spirit filled breath blew over the waters of the deep in the beginning (Genesis 1). Jesus is the eternal Word the Father spoke in the beginning to separate the sea from the dry land. He commanded the Flood waters to ravage and destroy the earth while at the same time saving Noah and his family (eight in all) as the ark floated on the water. He is the Lord whose Holy Spirit filled breath parted the water of the Red Sea so that Israel could walk through on dry land. And then Israel saw with her own eyes what the Lord did to Pharaoh and all his chariots with that very same water. Jesus is the Lord who opened the waters of the Jordan like a gate so the Israelites could come into the Promised Land.


In His Baptism in the Jordan River water He begins to take the sin of the world in His Body, carry it all to His cross, and then atone for all sin and for every sinner through the shedding of His divine sacrificial blood. He is the One who changed water into wine at Cana. Blood and WATER flow from His dead body on the cross. He mandates that sinners be baptized with water in the Triune Name by which dead, damned sinners are washed clean from the impurity of their sin and given the new birth of the Holy Spirit. (John 3:3-5; Acts 2:38-39; Titus 3:5-8) Lord Jesus does what He wants with water. With winds and waves. With all of creation. It’s all His. They obey His Word.


So when He shows up the wind is silenced. The wicked waves – flat lined. The sea is like glass. He tames the wild waves. It torments them no more.


Nothing can separate Jesus from His Israel, His people. He is God for them. And for you.


The disciples in that little boat of a church on the water give Jesus the highest of worship. “Really! Truly! You are the Son of God!” Not a ghost! Not a phantasm! But the great I AM – the one true God! For them. “Really! Truly! You are the Son of God!” Little faith turned to great faith! Great faith because of a great Jesus! Saving faith because of Savior Jesus!


“Truly, you are the Son of God!” That is your confession of faith too Michelle. Faith, the highest worship of Jesus. Earlier before the altar today, just like at your baptism into Christ, you renounced the devil. Turned your back on the red dragon. Renounced all his works and his ways. In order to follow Jesus. To be His disciple. Like Peter.


Yes, truly, Jesus is the Son of God. For you. With Jesus, Peter walks on water. With Jesus the dead are raised. Sinners are declared forgiven. Jesus’ words are powerful words. Spirit filled words. That heal the sick. Cast out demons. Raise the graveyard dead. His words have the power to make men do what He does. Jesus walks on the water. He bids Peter to walk on water. If Jesus’ word can do that, think of how much more a Word from Jesus will hold you in the Father’s love, forgive all your sin, and then on the Last Day raise you from the dead.


Michelle and all you gathered here today, learn that Jesus calls you to walk with Him in this life through faith. Learn to look for no other certainty than Jesus’ promise to forgive you in the power of His Good Friday death and Easter Sunday resurrection. Learn to look for no other comfort other than the cross. Learn to look for no other strength other than His Word and sacraments through which He reaches out to grab you – and save you (just like He did with Peter).


Brothers and sisters, Jesus calls you reject all the idolatries of this age. He calls you to become nothing in yourselves and trust His words of promise that He died for you and that you are forgiven. Jesus calls you to stand with Him in the churning waters of your troubled life where little boys get brain cancer, where people make horrible decisions that ruin your life, where marriages get into trouble and crash and burn, where the ravages of old age wreck the body and take away the mind. He says to you in the midst of whatever storm: “Courage! I AM! I AM with you and FOR YOU! I am God for you!”


Listen. Where Jesus walks, you can walk in the power of His Word – not just the storms of this life but even through death and the grave in order to rise to eternal life. Jesus is with you every step of the way. I beg you: trust Him. Trust His Word of promise for you. Like: “Whoever believes and is baptized with be saved.” Or: “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.”


Everything was fine until Peter did what? When He looked around. When he was distracted by the high winds and whitecaps. The winds and the waves appear to be too big for Jesus. Jesus seems to be so weak. So pathetic. So little. Peter takes His eyes off of Jesus. He begins to doubt. He’s afraid. Doubt and fear are the cement goulashes that take Peter under.


When you permit your eyes to govern your ears – when you believe only what you see instead of what Jesus says, you will doubt and fear. Do you too see Jesus as being so puny? So irrelevant? So beside the point? In the midst of all your life’s troubles? When your life is being torn apart at the seams?


The very second you take your eyes off of Jesus and your ears from His promises, the very moment you believe that Jesus is just too small and the troubles of this life too big, you become “little faith-ers,” just like Peter. It’s true, at times Jesus seems very little. As if He’s just too puny to handle or save us from all our problems, our disappointments, disasters, diseases, and death. Get over it! He’s not! He is the Lord. Or as Peter and Michelle finally said today: “Truly, you are the Son of God!”


Michelle and all of you here at Trinity, “Son of God” is the biggest thing you can confess about Jesus. At His Jordan River Baptism the Father proclaimed this truth. And as the “Son of God” Jesus is the sin-bearer. Your sin belongs to Him not you! He is the Son of God walking on the water. On the Mount of Transfiguration. When He hangs dead wrapped with all your sin. He is the “Son of God” for you as He puts you into the boat of His church to give you His Body and His Blood in the Lord’s Supper.


He’s Son of God FOR YOU!   When you give Him the highest worship – faith – and confess Him as He truly is, the “Son of God,” you mean that He’s “Savior” for you. “Son of God” and “Savior,” are the same thing! And so you pray: “Lord, Son of God Savior Jesus, save me!” in your times of being a “little faith-er.” Then He bids you to come and walk with Him. Not ON the water BUT IN THE WATER! In the water of your baptism into His death and resurrection! In that glassy sea of forgiveness and grace in which He daily promises: “Courage! I AM! I am God and Savior for you.”


Happy Confirmation Day Michelle! Happy living in and from your Baptism until it is finally brought to complete in the resurrection of the body on the Last Day. Dittos to the rest of you!


In the Name of “Son of God” Jesus.


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