Spiritual Wisdom from Shrek (6/7/15)

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Sermons | 0 comments

Pastor Jim  took us in an unusual direction to find insight into the story of Jesus walking on the water (Matthew 14); did you realize that a scene from the movie Shrek illustrates an important spiritual principle?

Click the following “Play” Button to start the recording, then scroll down to follow along…



The scripture was Matthew 14:22-33.  Open the below  drop down box to follow along…

Matthew 14

Fishermen on the Sea of Galilee

Fishermen on the Sea of Galilee

22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.

23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.

24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.

26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.

27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying,  “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” 



ShrekIn the movie Shrek, the Ogre named Shrek and the Donkey set out on a quest to rescue a fair maiden imprisoned in the tower of a castle that is guarded by a fire breathing dragon.  Between them and the castle there is a great chasm with red hot lava at the bottom  The only way to get there is across a very flimsy looking swing bridge.  Donkey is definitely not going to walk across the bridge, but Shrek  says that he can do it as long as he doesn’t look down.

Shrek says, “I’m right here beside you… we’ll just tackle this thing together… just keep moving and  don’t look down.”

Donkey steps on to the bridge reminding himself to not look down, and feeling very bold and safe.  About halfway,one of the planks on  the bridge gives way.  He  stumbles… and looks down.  Fear takes control.  he doubts his ability and the safety of the the bridge.  He refuses to go any further.

Contrary Storms will Always Arise…

Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee

Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee

The King James version translates verse 24 using the word “contrary.”  The winds were “contrary.”  Any time we try to move forward there will be opposition.  People not totally committed.  Lack of money.  Rules that say you’re not allowed to do it that way.  Limited thought that stuffs us into a comfort zone box.  And if that’s not enough to knock us off course, there will be outright opposition from those who don’t agree with your goals.

But we are called to be a lighthouse in the midst of people’s storms.


See Our Lighthouse: Focus on Jesus…

Shrek keeps telling Donkey, “Don’t look down, keep going.”  Jesus tells Peter, “Come. Walk towards Me.”    But Peter “looked down.”  He saw the winds and waves and began to sink.

What storms do we see and hear?

Don’t look down…

Peter cries out “Lord Save Me!” Jesus responds, “O you of little faith…”

But this isn’t to condemn Peter. Peter’s “mustard seed” of faith was enough to get him out of the boat.  It’s the same faith that led him to call out to Jesus.

In the midst of the storm-  in the midst of OUR storms-  Jesus is present and tells the disciples (and us),

“Take heart; do not be afraid.  It is I.”


This verse represents a promise consistent with God’s character; He is always present…

This phrase reminds us of Moses’ words to the Israelites on the edge of the Red Sea with the pursuing Egyptians right behind them.  Moses reminds them of God’s presence:  “Take Heart;  do not be afraid.  Stand firm and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today.” (Exodus 14:13-14).

And Moses sounds a bit like Shrek when he tells them, “Don’t be afraid!  Stand still and you will see the Lord save you today.  You will never see these Egyptians again after today.  You only need to remain calm;  The Lord will fight for you.”

“Do not be afraid,” or “Fear not,” appears in the New Testament over 80 times. Check out this article: Just Believe

When Jesus says “It is I,” this isn’t a simple statement saying “Yo- it’s me. Jesus.” Jesus is saying “I Am God.”

The Greek word used in this verse is “ego emi,” which takes us back to the burning bush and God’s calling Himself, “I am who I am.” (Exodus 3:14).

Jesus claims this title many times during His public ministry: John 6:35, John 8:58, John 10:9, John 10:11, John 15:1Revelation 1:8, etc, etc…


Be a Lighthouse:  Get out of the Boat…

Moses told the Israelites, “Watch what God will do.”

In the same way that Peter had enough confidence to swing his legs over the sides of the boat and to place his feet on the raging water, we can have the assurance to be a lighthouse to the world around us.  Jesus says, Come…

  • Teach that Sunday School class…
  • Visit the Nursing Home…
  • Tithe and pay 100% of our Shared Giving goals…
  • Set “impossible” Goals..

Once we recognize that Jesus is in our midst we can claim the promise of His protection and walk out on the disturbed waters of life.  Together with Jesus we can do the impossible.  IF, we only get out of the boat and trust.

*   *   *   *   *   *


Stand By Me…

In 1905, Rev. Charles Albert Tindley wrote the hymn “Stand by Me.”  This hymn reminds of of God’s presence; not only throughout history, but within the midst of our own “contrary winds” and failures.

  • When the storms of life are raging… Stand by me (stand by me);
  • When the storms of life are raging…  Stand by me (stand by me);
  • When the world is tossing me Like a ship upon the sea…   Thou Who rulest wind and water, Stand by me (stand by me).
  • In the midst of tribulation… Stand by me (stand by me);
  • In the midst of tribulation… Stand by me (stand by me);
  • When the hosts of hell assail, And my strength begins to fail, Thou Who never lost a battle…  Stand by me (stand by me).
  • In the midst of faults and failures… Stand by me (stand by me);
  • In the midst of faults and failures… Stand by me (stand by me);
  • When I do the best I can, And my friends misunderstand, Thou Who knowest all about me… Stand by me (stand by me).
  • In the midst of persecution… Stand by me (stand by me);
  • In the midst of persecution… Stand by me (stand by me);
  • When my foes in battle array Undertake to stop my way, Thou Who savèd Paul and Silas… Stand by me (stand by me).
  • When I’m growing old and feeble… Stand by me (stand by me);
  • When I’m growing old and feeble…  Stand by me (stand by me);
  • When my life becomes a burden, And I’m nearing chilly Jordan, O Thou “Lily of the Valley,” … Stand by me (stand by me).


What if we Don’t Call Out to Jesus???

The same faith that allowed Peter to step out of the boat is the same faith that’s going to keep us walking on the storms…

  • FEAR Paralyzes,  FAITH Empowers
  • FEAR Discourages, FAITH Encourages
  • FEAR Sickens, FAITH Heals
  • FEAR Makes us Useless, FAITH makes us servacible
  • FEAR Makes us Hopeless,  Faith gives Hope

Jesus walked out and said “ego eimi.”  Shrek says “we’ll get to the other side.”  When Jesus Christ is working in our lives, don’t look down.  Instead, always  Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus.

Look full in His wonderful Face. 

And the things of the world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.


 Quiz Time!

As you reflect on what you’ve just heard/read, give this quiz a try.  If you don’t understand an answer (or if you disagree with the “correct” answer, post a comment)…


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