One of the most peaceful places to me, in all of my travels, is the Sea of Galilee. There is something about that stretch of water that is calm and makes you want to be still. We were fortunate to go there (my second time) and experience those calm waters and listen to some great music and a great message.
But it wasn’t always that calm! And I think Peter would agree!
Matthew 14:22-33 “Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went out to them walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “Its a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord if it’s you, Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come”, he said.”
So here is Jesus, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and it is late in the day. He has gone off to pray and has sent the disciples on ahead of Him. So the disciples head out in their boat, and all of a sudden this huge storm comes up and keeps it up all night long! The clock is ticking….the hours have passed by and our disciples are cold, wet, and exhausted!
Finally, during the fourth watch of the night (which is supposed to be between 3 and 6am) the disciples look up and see Jesus walking on the water! THEY THINK IT IS A GHOST!! Ok, they’ve been hanging with Jesus for some time now, and they have seen Him perform miracles, and they can’t get their mind wrapped around the fact that He’s walking on water? Seriously? Well….they seriously cried out in fear, we know that (vs 26) for sure…
I love that Jesus is so cool. He immediately speaks to them….He says, “It is I”…..not, all hysterical, waving his arms, “Hey, it’s me, Jesus!”…no.…He is the Great I Am… He is the creator of the wind and the creator of the storm. He tells them to take courage. And I love Peter because he is always the one with something to say (kinda like me) and he says, “Ok…if it is you, tell me to come out on the water”.
All Jesus said is, “COME”.
Listen up people!! When God says, “come”…you better come! Peter was safer out of the boat that he was in the boat!! He steps out of the boat and begins to walk toward Jesus. And now Jesus is walking toward him……but….there’s always a ‘but’…..
Peter remembers the storm and takes his eyes off Jesus. The storm hadn’t stopped! In fact, the storm doesn’t even begin to die down until verse 32! So, you’ve got the wind blowing, the rain coming down in sheets and the fishing boat just a bobbin’…..and Peter takes his eyes off his Master and begins to sink.
Now, I love this part. Peter …. that BIG man….cries out, “LORD, SAVE ME!!” Peter looked down at his feet and saw nothing but water. When he lost his concentration on Jesus…he began to sink. What does Jesus do? Does He let him sink? Nope…..vs.31, “..immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Wow. Don’t feel bad Peter! I’ve been there too! I’ve been in some dark places and taken my eyes off Him and put them on my situation and started to sink. BUT THANK GOD…He reaches out to catch me.
I like the way it is said…”he reached out his hand and caught him.” He didn’t just ‘steady’ him…..he caught him. Niiiice….
But remember….we’re still in a storm here, people. It’s still very dark, and it’s still raining and the wind is totally messing up everyone’s hair….And Jesus is making this a ‘teachable’ moment! HA! Don’t you think that Peter is probably thinking, “Yeah, let’s talk about this back in the boat!” AND IN THE MEANTIME…what do you think is going on in the boat?!! They are probably sitting there bug-eyed, mouths open, trying to figure out what is going on!!
Verse 32-33 “And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshipped Him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
In every person’s life; God, at some point of time, or another, will tell you to get out of the boat. Are you going to listen? Or are you going to sit their bug-eyed with your mouth open?
Nobody lives forever……we’re either going to die in the boat or out of the boat. I pray that I’m right where He wants me….. worshipping Him!