“And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.”-Matthew 14:28-29
Many of you are familiar with the story of Jesus walking on the water. Jesus had just finished feeding 5,000 plus people with two fish and five loaves of bread; when he came to the disciples and made them get into a boat and begin to make their way to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus returned to send the crowds home and then found a place to pray.
As the evening progressed, the wind and waves began to beat upon the boat and tossed it about causing it to end up in the middle of the sea far from shore. Sometime between 3-6 a.m., Jesus decided to go to them walking on the water.
Of course, when the disciples saw Him they began to panic thinking they had seen a ghost. Recognizing their fear Jesus declared:
“Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”-Matthew 14:27
It is right then that Peter asked, “Lord if it is you, command me to come to You on the water.” Peter was inspired by what he saw Jesus doing! Have you ever been so inspired by something you read Jesus do that it moved you to crazy faith? Moved by Peter’s faith Jesus said to him, “Come!”
The scriptures tell us that Peter got down out of the boat and began walking on the water toward Jesus, however when he heard the wind howling and saw the waves crashing around him; he became afraid and started to sink.
“And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”-Matthew 14:31
Peter catches a lot of grief because of that statement, but what about the 11 guys sitting in the boat who never acted remotely interested in walking on water. Out of 12 men in the boat, only one guy was courageous enough to climb out!
The 11 guys in the boat were playing it safe. I equate them with people who like to play in mud puddles.
People play in puddles because they are shallow and safe. You rarely hear stories about people drowning in a puddle or read stories of people who were rescued after spending days stuck in a mud puddle. Seas, however, are deep, vast, and expansive. Remember these guys were not sitting near the shoreline, they were out in the heart of the sea. They certainly were not safe. With puddles you can feel the ground beneath you. In the middle of the sea you cannot. With puddles you can see the safety of the shoreline. In the middle of the see you cannot. You might get a ripple in a puddle, but you have tsunamis in the ocean. In a puddle you can splash around and make a lot of noise; that’s because it’s easy to be courageous when you are only in ankle deep water. The reality is we want to enjoy all the benefits of being in the water, but still be in complete control. However, people who are satisfied to play in puddles will never walk on water.
Eventually, nearly all the disciples, who remained int he boat, would have their own “step out of the boat” moment. They would take the gospel around the world and most of them would go on to be martyred for their faith in Jesus. Nevertheless, doing great things for God doesn’t come from playing it safe. It comes from getting out of the boat!
Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church