Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home.23
After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves.25
About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water.26
When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
27But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
29“Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
30But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
31Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped.33
Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
There is so much to learn from this story I don’t know where to begin! First, notice that Jesus sent everyone away and spend time alone with his Father in prayer. If Jesus needed to be alone in prayer, so do we. The Bible makes a special note that “Night fell while he was there alone”. Being alone in the dark was thought to be a terrible curse in those days. They thought the night was full of demons. The idea that Jesus had no fear of Satan and his demons had special meaning to apostles and it should to us too. The Bible so often tells us to not be afraid. When will we listen?
The walking on the water story is so rich. The disciples are in a storm (our lives have storms), Jesus comes to them and they don’t recognize him at first. They are full of doubt but in the end Jesus rescues them. Can we relate?
Peter of course has a story of his own within the story. Peter challenges Jesus and notice that Jesus calls him to get out of the relatively safe boat and walk on the water in the middle of a storm. I try to remember this in my own life. In the midst of a storm when I am afraid of drowning, if I really want to meet Jesus, I need to get out of the boat and walk right into the storm. The stormy times in life are not the times to stay as safe as possible. The stormy times are the times to take the greatest leaps of faith. As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he walked on the water in the midst of the storm. Only when Peter looked at the waves did he sink, and then Jesus rescued him.
You can say that Peter nearly drowned because he took such a risk, but do you think Peter ever regretted getting out of that boat? Never!
Lord, call me to get out of my safety zone in the middle of the storms of my life. Call me to greater leaps of faith, and give me the peace of know you will rescue me if I start to sink.
Has there ever been a time in your life when you were called to take a leap of faith when you thought you were already in the middle of a storm? Beginner’s Online Bible Study *obbs*