Many a sermon has been preached about Jesus walking on water. I don’t claim to have anything new to add, but during my prayer time this morning I read Matthew 14:22-34. I find scripture amazing. You can read the same verse at different times in your life and get something new out of it each time. This morning I started to wonder about perspectives – the apostle’s, Peter’s and Jesus’. There is so much in this story, but I just want to look at a small aspect of it.
Picture this – it’s really late at night (verse 25 “During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them”). The apostles were afraid because they see someone approaching their boat, walking on the water (verse 27 Jesus tells them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”) What must have been going through their heads when they realize what was going on?
Peter had enough faith to step out of the boat and walk towards Jesus. When he saw the wind he became afraid and started to sink. He cried out to Jesus for help. Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. He said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
I imagine that different apostles observing this would have different perspectives of the situation. Maybe one of them thought, “Peter is such a brown nose. He’s only going out of the boat to impress the boss?” Or maybe one of them might have been thinking, “Boy I wish I was brave enough to go out there.” Yet another one might be thinking, “He’s nuts, doesn’t he see the waves out there.”
I wonder what’s going through Peter’s mind. He took a big leap of faith and in the middle of it fear overcame him. “Oh no, what have I done? What was I thinking coming out here? I’m going to die." But how cool was it that he went out of the boat? No else even tried.
How about Jesus? What was He thinking? I won’t even attempt to presume to what Jesus taught.
How different was that situation than some of the exercises of faith we face? Do we stay in the boat? Do we venture out and try? Do we criticize others that take that leap? Are we jealous of them? Do we wish we were brave enough to try? What situations call us to leave the comfort of our boat?
What struck me was that even though Jesus said “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” He immediately reached out to help Peter. Isn’t it comforting to know that if we get out of the boat that Jesus is there cheering us on and if we start to fall He will immediately reach out to help us. I thank You Lord for that.
What’s the name of your boat?
© Nadine Z. 2007