SINK OR SUBMIT
Lord, I believe You can do all things.
Read MATTHEW 14:22–36
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?” (Psa. 27:1). Take time to consider your present fears. Can you trust them to the Lord?
The One who fed the 5,000 now walks on water. His remarkable power over creation is never untamed power, like some hurricane whipping up huge waves and indiscriminately destroying everything in its path. Rather, his power is under control. He never deploys his power as some magic trick designed simply to impress the crowds. He could have chosen to walk on the water as a finale to the feeding of the crowd, with 5,000-plus witnesses to act as his publicity agents—but that is not his purpose. His normal practice is to meet a need, thereby gradually displaying his identity for those with eyes to see.
Walking on the water is designed to encourage the disciples amidst turbulent weather. Initially adding to their terror, he appears on the lake beside them, far from the land, with words of reassurance. It reminds us that exposure to storms of whatever sort or magnitude are never outside the reach of Jesus; his words always apply: “Don’t be afraid” (27). We sense the presence of this same Jesus coming to us in our troubles as we hear his words of comfort.
Peter typifies so much of what we already know of him. Up for anything, Peter is the first to volunteer. What is he thinking by asking to walk on the water? An adrenaline rush (extreme walking)? A desire to be like Jesus? An impulse to be with Jesus? Whatever the motivation, it almost goes horribly wrong. Does he expect that, once he has stepped out of the boat, Jesus will attend to the rest? That no further faith is required? At least he has the sense and the humility to shout to Jesus in his desperation and, together with the others, to worship (33). It is the only reasonable response. What else could they do?
With whom do you identify most closely in this story and why? Imagine yourself in the story and hear the words Jesus is speaking directly to you.
Lord, help us ever to recognize You as the solution when the waters around us grow choppy.
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