Reading the Word
Matthew 14:22–33 (ESV)
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Parallel Texts: Mark 6:45-52; John 6:14-21
Understanding and Applying the Word
Imagine being in a boat and seeing Jesus coming out to meet you. You are out in the deep water away from the shoreline, yet Jesus is walking towards you on the water! How would you respond? It is common for readers to think little of Peter as he got out of the boat to walk to Jesus and then quickly began to sink, but how many of us would have even gotten out of the boat at all? Probably not many of us!
Peter reminds us of ourselves. He was eager to go to Jesus and was very trusting. Then reality hit him. He noticed the wind and the waves and began to lose heart and panic. We too are eager to live for Jesus, but then difficulty and temptation come before us and we are soon fighting and struggling in our own strength and forgetting that Jesus is there with us. It is Jesus who is our true source of help and strength. May we never forget his promise that he would never leave or forsake us (Matthew 28:20), even when the seas get rough.
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