23And when he had sent
the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24But the ship was now
in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto
them, walking on the sea. 26And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is
a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28And Peter answered
him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out
of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid;
and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and
caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
32And when they were
come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art
the Son of God.
Peter made a good decision
when he got out of the boat. He made a good decision when he got back in the boat. You never want to be out of the boat unless
Jesus is out of the boat AND He has invited you to come with Him.
I wonder how many messages
have been preached from this passage. I wonder how many “doctrines” have been based upon this area of scripture.
Lack of faith and super faith being the subject of different preachers at different times.
Jesus walking on the
water may be the most well known of the miracles in the new testament. Doesn’t everyone know about it? The Sea of Galilee
is about 13 miles long and 8 miles wide. The disciples were in the midst of sea. So, Jesus walked at least 4 miles on the
water to get to them. Some people suggest that this took place at the narrowest portion of the lake...what difference does
that make? It was more than a hop, skip and a jump. Weather conditions were not ideal. It was somewhere between 3 and 6 o’clock
in the morning darkness and the wind was enough that the boat was tossed about on the waves. There were no lights in the midst
of the sea, it was dark. Maybe it was a full moon and there was no cloud cover, otherwise it was in the blackness of the night.
disciples spotted him...a figure coming toward them on the water. Obviously there was not enough light to see that it was
Jesus. What would you have thought? “Lochness…” They thought it was a spirit.(Interesting, they must have
believed in spirits). They were troubled and fearful. When Jesus sensed their fear and confusion He said to them “Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid.”
With the wind whistling, it
was boisterous, and the waves sloshing against the boat Jesus must have been fairly close at that time...He spoke and they
heard. He was close enough to have a conversation. (He always is).
It takes about an hour and
a half to walk four miles on land, to my knowledge there is no evidence of how long it takes on water.
It is not necessary, nor, I
believe, is possible, to know how this was done. Did He condense the surface of the water? When God pleases, the depths are
congealed in the heart of the sea, “with the breath of His nostrils” He can control the sea(Exodus 15:8). Did
He suspend the gravitation of his body, which was transfigured as He pleased? It is obvious, that it proves his Divine power.
God can as easily
tread upon the waves of the sea (Job 9:8) as He can ride upon the wings of the wind. He that made the waters of the sea a
wall for the redeemed of the Lord here makes them a walkway for the Redeemer Himself. He can appear with one foot on the sea
and the other on dry land. Sufficient to say, is the same power that made iron to swim (2 Kings 6:6), did this. Christ can
choose whatever way He pleases to save his people.
He had sent His disciples
ahead. He had told them He would catch up with them. I don't know if it ever crossed their mind that that they had the boat.
How would he meet up with them? Remember He had "constrained" them to do this. He insisted, virtually ordered them. They
obeyed and likely while He was praying and resting in a secret place they found themselves in the midst of a stormy sea.
I would like to have listened in to the conversations
on that boat. I have a feeling there was some discussion of how the ministry was being operated. I’m not sure, but probably
some questions being raised about why Jesus sent them into the storm. Probably some unkind words about His leadership decisions.
Oh, surely not...those things don’t happen. They were probably encouraging each other and recounting how blessed they
were to be a part of the group.
I wonder if the disciples ever criticized Jesus behind
His back. I wonder if there was ever dissension about who got to be upfront most and if there was envy among the disciples.
I’m just wondering.
Regardless, Jesus appeared to the disciples and He
is walking on the water. The darkness of the night, he saw through it. He goes into the darkness unafraid. He sees into our
darkness as well and speaks ‘be not afraid’. Seeing in the darkness removes the power of darkness.
He comes walking on top of the very thing that brings
natural things down. He demonstrates His supernatural. He shows Himself to be Lord of all in this simple passage of scripture.
Bigger than the elements, bigger than ‘natures laws’… which, by the way, are principles of His that we simply
discover. The sea dare not attempt to drown Him, He is the creator. The winds whisper in His Presence.
You think He can’t come to you because of the
magnitude of your problem? You think the water is too deep? The darkness that engulfs you is too great? The circumstances
that hold you captive are too big for Him? You think He’s scared? You think He doesn’t know the situation? What?
You think maybe He dozed off and was not aware of His promise
to come to them? Psalms 121:3-4 says, “He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel
shall neither slumber nor sleep.”
He arrived at the boat right on time...the boat was going into
the wind, so was He. When Jesus was spotted and spoke to them, He spoke to their fear, He spoke cheer instead of fear! They
were buzzing with excitement, “It’s Jesus walking on the water! Look, it’s Him…” Thomas may
have said, “I doubt it.” Others probably sensed the awe of it all and maybe said nothing. Peter, however, was
so excited that he said, “Lord if that is you, let me come out there with you.” Jesus spoke only one word, “Come”.
I believe He still invites us to come
experience what He is capable of. In the boat was safety but Peter crawled out without a life jacket into the “boisterous”
sea. He walked a little bit on the water, his faith in Jesus word was enough
to experience what no other man has. This message is not about “getting out” of the boat, it is more about getting
back in the boat.
If Jesus invites you out to come to Him,
to experience a faith moment, by all means go. But when He gets in the boat, you get in the boat. Peace and safety are in
the boat, fellowship with others is in the boat. Worship took place in the boat. Some have ventured out of the boat and have
had to be lifted back up by Jesus. The real key is desiring to be where Jesus is! Blessings!
Just for Jesus,