“Come!”, by Pastor Peter Yakubu
Bible Text: Matthew 14: -21-33
The text tells the story of the feeding of 5000 men by Jesus. The Bible talks about men because they are usually the fewer so imagine how many women, boys and girls were there. Jesus fed these men with 5loaves of Bread and 2 Fishes. That is the Lord fed more than 5000 men with 5 Loaves of Bread and 2 Fishes and they were satisfied, and it is recorded that none was wasted. After this episode Jesus went to the Mountain to pray. Many Christians do not pray, the ones that pray do not pray so much, the people that pray so much do not pray often, but Jesus is an exemplary of how much we need to pray in spite of our busy schedules.
Verse 21-23 – 21 And those who ate were about 5,000 men, not including women and children.
22 Then He directed the disciples to get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent away the crowds.
23 And after He had dismissed the multitudes, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. When it was evening, He was still there alone.
Verse 25-26…Illustrates how Jesus walked on the sea, towards the disciples; to walk on the sea is to walk over nations, to conquer the world. When the disciples saw him, they were afraid.
Jesus told his disciples not to be afraid. Traditionally with Jesus, if you come to him, He deals with your fear first; a Christian should not be afraid. If Jesus is in it, there should be no fear. The man that is full of love has no fear, because perfect love casteth out fear (1 John 4:18). There is a difference between Happiness and Joy, God gives Joy and happiness can be determine by external factors, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy and peace. Peace is an inner calmness in the midst of trouble. The cyclone you see during a hurricane that can move mountains, trees and all buildings, it is deduced that the calmness part of the earth is in the midst of it.
Vs. 27 when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea, they were afraid and Jesus told them straight away “fear not”, “But instantly He spoke to them, saying, “Take courage! I Am! Stop being afraid!” If God is in it, there is no need to fear, that is why the phrase “fear not” is used 365 times in the Bible. That is there is a word for each day of the year. If anybody comes to you and puts ungodly fear in you; it is not from God. No matter what you go through the first thing God will tell you is “be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid” because in the presence of God there is fullness of Joy.
To digress a bit; In the garden of Eden, when Adam discovered he was naked, The question is; Did Adam become naked after he ate the fruit? “Yes” Adam was naked before he ate the fruit because he was not wearing clothes like us and “No” because he was actually covered by the glory of God. As Christians we usually experience this, whenever we sin or do anything wrong, we become naked and empty. For example, a Christian filled with the anointing but during the course of the day told a little lie; suddenly feels empty , like any harm that comes his/her way might just take him/her down. That fear is the fear we are talking about. When you are in God, you are covered, when the devil looks at you, he looks beyond the clothes, even if you do not have any clothes on, the glory of God will be your Shield; if you are in Christ.
Matthew 14: 26-29. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, “It is a ghost!” And they screamed out with fright.
27 But instantly He spoke to them, saying, Take courage! I Am! Stop being afraid!
28 And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You; command me to come to You on the water.
29 He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus.
But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me [from death]!
31 Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33 And those in the boat knelt and worshiped Him, saying, Truly You are the Son of God!
Note; while Peter walked, he perceived the wind and he began to sink; he cried unto Jesus to save him and Jesus stretched forth His hand to save Peter.
Also Note what Peter said:
If it be really you, command me to come and Jesus said “Come”
The Bible said Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on water and at one time he saw the wind began to sink and cried out to God and Jesus saved him but asked. “Why did you doubt”. You and I might be quick to judge Peter, why did you doubt? Why didn’t you finish? I want to tell you that Peter was still far better than the rest who were just watching; he dared to step out of the boat. Note all Jesus said “Come” Jesus was not calling Peter alone, he was calling all the 12 disciples but only Peter had the courage to come; only Peter acted on the word. Another instance was when Jesus called Lazarus from the dead, He said “Lazarus come” if Jesus had said “Come” all the tombs would have opened and dead bodies would have risen with Lazarus. That is to tell you even the dead would obey more than the human beings who are alive.
I was telling a friend the other day that all animals can swim except human beings, push a dog in a river, it will swim out, an elephant would do the same but human beings have to learn to swim because they reason out everything. Now my theme this morning is COME”- come to the place of achievement, come to the place of fulfillment, it is not in your place to reason out the how if Peter had thought for seconds he would not have stepped out of the boat.
I have a friend that went out on a picnic during summers to the riverside. The boat they were on somehow tilted while they were pushing it into the water. This tall man went into the water gasping for air , he took 2 or 3 gulps before one small lady came to take his hand, by the time he stood up, the water didn’t even reach his knee and he was gasping for air in that small water.
Why is it difficult for man to swim, because we have intelligence, we like to figure out everything. If God says come, why would he want me to come, what am I coming for, we want to reason out our way out of the presence of God. The other day we put a baby in the pool and she started paddling, it is natural to swim but intelligence limits man from swimming. When Jesus says come; that come is for everyone, you and me, come to the place of greatness, come to nobility; come to the place that God has ordained for you. Peter came out and began to walk on water, once in a while he looked back and suddenly saw the wind; in the first instance Jesus came to them because of the wind. That is, the wind had always been there, my brethren you will make progress and fulfill your dreams in-spite of the storms.
If you refuse to begin the simile troubles will never start, sometimes we begin well and then devil starts to throw different things to distract us. An example is the journey of Moses, Moses had came out of Egypt and married a black woman on his return to Egypt, the wife had been there and there was no issue until midway through the journey to Canaan then the ugly head came; Miriam Moses sister started to complain about Moses’ wife that it was against tradition to marry a black woman. When the devil wants to destroy a man he robs his head off normal reasoning, that was what killed Miriam and Aaron could not finish the journey. Ladies and Gentlemen, you will finish and fulfill your drams while in the midst of storm. Why is it now that you noticed Pastor is wearing suit? Before now he has always been wearing suit, so do not start complaining about his designer suit now except you want your head chopped off.
Another point, what did the scripture mean when it states that Peter perceived the wind; Obstacles do not exist, they are the things we see when we take our eyes off our goals. Blind men would make more progress than those who see because they would not see the stones or snakes on the way. Peter did not mind the wind when he walked on water; it was when he gave attention to the wind he sank.
Jesus said except we are converted like this little children you would not inherit the kingdom because children would not rationalize like the others. Do you know if you want to draw a straight line from Point A to Point B, it is better done with your eyes focused either closed or focused on destination, you may have drawn the line over stones, over broken bottles but will not be hurt because you did not see them but if you look down you might try to avoid them and that will delay you. May be you are one of those who go somewhere and complain, lamenting people don’t treat me with respect, or someone does not like me, I am older than her she cannot even greet me; note people owe you nothing and you owe them nothing ; keep moving. I learnt something from the scriptures Isaiah 43; God said “I will be with when you pass through waters and through the waters, it will not overflow you, He said when you will walk through the fire, it will not hurt you, not stand in the fire.. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walked in the fire and came out unhurt. Those who fix their gaze on the goal will finish well. What they are saying should not stop you, do not look to the left or to the right, people will talk , you have no control over what people will say ; it is their mouth.
Do you know that your life will go in the direction of your vision? For example if you are driving or riding a bicycle and suddenly you look at a billboard if you notice you will start moving towards what you are looking at. Your body will tilt in the direction of your eyes. They tell you or they don’t tell you, they think or they don’t think, they sing your praise or they don’t sing your praise, they clap or they don’t clap – keep moving on, all those are distractions. When God wants to build you up, he alienates you from everyone, you have been doing your business on your own with no help from anybody suddenly fear creeps in “what if I do not get support” but you did not receive help or support from anyone when you first started why now, God will make sure you do not receive help from anyone so you can learn to live depending on God alone. They meant it for evil but God has a plan, we are just playing out God’s scripts. That Uncle of yours that threw you out at the middle of the night might just be the best friend you could ever have, because he led you to make the best decision that made you what you are today.
Note when Peter began to sink, he did not call his friends, some of us when we are going through trying times , that is when we will remember our rich friends, one Uncle or Sister, biological father or mother and God will make sure this people frustrate you. They will start giving you excuses and you will have no choice but totally depend on him. Peter began to sink and cried out “Lord save me” the Lord stretched forth his hand and took him up. Note again Peter walked towards Jesus and he began to sink when he was arm’s length away, that is, for as long as he was still far from Jesus , the devil did not strike or tempt him until Peter was close to Jesus. Your challenges get to the peek when you are arm’s length away from your miracle. Most times you are okay and still able to endure but you snap when you are almost at the edge of your miracle. The devil likes to fish in troubled water but when God is involved, He would lead you beside still waters, Peace- it is not the absence of trouble but it is an inner calmness in the midst of turbulence- Peace; that is when you hear Gods’ voice. I read the story of Derek 1992 Olympics, he was expected to win the 400meteres relay, halfway through the journey he fell and was on the ground. After some time he stood up and started limping; the father came through the barriers, held his son and said you do not have to but the son wanted to finish so the father held him and they continued together few steps to the finish line, the father moved away for him to finish. The same way, God wants you to take the first step just the first step and he will help you. Jesus held the waters together for Peter so he could walk on water when he was arm’s length away, Jesus said finish it. Do you know the darkest part of the night is when the sun is about to rise. When all hell is let loose upon you that is an indication that you are about to break loose. Nobody ever cries for help unto the most High God and does not receive it.
In conclusion, Jesus said “Come” that word was not for Peter alone, it was for everyone in the boat, it was not for everyone in the boat alone, it was for everyone in their generation, for everyone in the generations to come; Now Jesus is saying to you “COME”, COME TO THE HEIGHTS, COME TO THE MOUNTAIN TOP, COME TO SUCCESS, COME AND DINE WITH PRINCES, COME TO FULFILMENT. Peter did not walk on the water; it is not natural to walk on the water. Peter said “Lord if it is you, bid me to come to walk on the water” the Lord said “Come”. What did Peter walk on? Peter walked on the word. The King of all Kings calling you today “Come”, act on faith, act on the word, one word from God is enough to change your story. Has God ever said anything to you, it is enough for you to ride on waters, Has God ever spoken to you through the prophets or your Pastor, through the scriptures, if it is from God it is enough. You will succeed, you will prosper, I do not care what the devil is doing in any ones’ life; the word of God calls you today “Come out of it’ You are blessed as you take that step towards Jesus, acting on the word.
“Come!”, by Pastor Peter Yakubu of Prevailers Arena, Lagos, was delivered on August 23rd, 2015.