As we come to that familiar passage where Peter walks on the water, we must remember that he has come a long way in his experiences with Jesus.
Peter has watched Jesus heal many—the demon possessed, a leper, the deaf, the blind, a centurion’s servant, even his own mother-in-law.
When Jesus sent the disciples out two by two to preach, He empowered them to heal. Excitedly, they came back to report in, but their report took a back seat as Jesus dealt all day teaching a large crowd.
At the end of the day, this crowd of 5,000 was fed by two fish and five loaves of bread.
After this miraculous feeding, Jesus sent the disciples out in a boat while He dismissed the crowd and stayed on shore to spend quiet time in prayer.
After meditating for a while, Jesus looked up to see a storm brewing. The disciples’ boat rocked back and forth in the wind and waves. In His humanity, Jesus walked to the shore, but the divinity of Jesus took over and He walked on the water toward the boat.
When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
At this point, spontaneous Peter sprang into action.
“Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” Jesus said.
That was all he needed. Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. Yeah, Peter, you did it!
Uh-oh, here comes the “but.”
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Happens to us all, right? When he saw the wind, he took his eyes off Jesus. How often have we done that? We get all hyped up about doing something important, even something spiritual, and walk toward Jesus, but then get distracted. We begin to doubt. We lose faith. The very things Jesus told Peter.
“You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:26-31
Jesus caught sinking Peter and they climbed in the boat. In spite of Peter’s actions, two things happened;
… the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
We can feel for Peter and say, “At least he tried.” That’s true, but my take-away from Peter’s experience is remembering how I can get so entangled by distractions, that I take my eyes off the main source of my strength.
When we take His outreached hand, two things happen, the winds of doubt die down, and we worship Him in awe.
~ Joyce ~