Peter on the Water
Matthew 14:22 “And straightway Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before Him unto the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.”
We know Peter. He is impetuous.
He leaps at the chance to do anything.
He is older than the other disciples. And he always wants to speak out, or do something first.
He was a fisherman, when Jesus called him and his brother, to follow Him. But they immediately did.
Now, they had just seen the feeding of the five thousand, and Jesus had told His disciples to go ahead of Him, in boats, to cross the Sea of Galilee.
Then Jesus went up into the mountain to pray.
Matthew 14:24 “But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.”
In Mark it says they were “toiling in rowing”. They had the sails down because the wind was so hard, and blowing in the wrong direction. They were rowing to get to the other side.
As Christians, we too, are often called to go out , not knowing what is ahead. It was probably smooth sailing for the first part of the trip, then suddenly a sea storm came up.
Yet they did not turn around; Jesus had told them to cross to the other side, and they were working to do that very thing!
This is obedience.
Now if I was with the disciples, I would have been thinking: “Boy! I wish Jesus was here to help us.”
And then He was!
Matthew 14:25-26 “And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.”
The fourth watch is in the early morning. Jesus had been praying all night, and knew they were out in a storm, so He went out to them.
Sometimes the way the Lord delivers us out of trouble, is so unexpected, we too are often frightened.
But it is never too late.
But Jesus puts their fears to rest:
Matthew 14:27 “But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid.”
We should not be surprised to see Jesus, the Son of God, using any part of His creation to help in delivering His own.
He is the Lord of Hosts…..any hosts. He used hornets, and hail in the Old Testament…..and He can use anything to see to the troubles of life we are in.
He commands and it is done. So walking on the waves of the storms of our lives, He comes to us; to deliver us in times of weariness and danger.
Then here comes Peter. Bold, and believing (for a while).
Matthew 14:28-29 “And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.
And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.”
Peter goes out of the ship, still believing……..and steps out onto the water, and starts walking on it to go to Jesus.
Now he wasn’t out there to walk with Jesus across the Sea of Galilee; no, he was walking to Jesus.
Matthew 14:30-31 “But when he saw the wind boisterous he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried, Lord, save me.
And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
Often what is happening around us, gets our eyes off the Lord. Once we really look at the trouble for ourselves,…..we sink!
Well, it was the same with Peter.
He was doing fine, till he saw how strong the wind was. How high it was pushing the waves.
Then he began to doubt Jesus strength for both of them. Silly Peter. The One who called him to come out, certainly can sustain him; even against the strongest wind that blows against him.
Peter probably prayed the shortest prayer he ever had prayed…..”Lord, save me.”
But it received a very quick answer: “immediately”.
Little faith doubts God, when it sees the frightening circumstances.
Large faith keeps looking to God, even in the frightening circumstances.
Matthew 14:32 “And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.”
Jesus lifted Peter from the waves, and into the ship.
And how many times has Jesus saved us in difficult circumstances?
Many, Many times.
“O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
And hasn’t the Lord said that to us many times……doubting Jesus is coming to the view that…..maybe He can not…..or will not save.
And doubting Him, cuts our lifeline to trust….which is holding on to Jesus and His Word.
Jesus said, “Come”. Would He then watch Peter drown?
O little faith that thinks these thoughts!
Matthew 14:33 “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”
Jesus was the Son of God, come to save His people from their sins.
Sometimes it takes a storm in our lives to bring us, to see Him correctly.