23And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening
came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking
on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."28
And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." 29 So He said, "Come." And
when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous,
he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why
did you doubt?" 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped
Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God." Matthew 14:23-33
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, but the waves were boisterous...it was in
the blackness of the night.
The 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
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,