I think it’s safe to say we all know Matthew 14:22-31. It’s the passage in Scripture when Peter walks on water to Jesus. If you don’t know this passage, I have shared it here.
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?”
I understand the lesson being taught to Peter, but I have one question, what did the disciples learn by watching Peter climb out of the boat? I think about this often. When I observe another person in a trial or struggle, what do I learn? Also, why didn’t any other disciple get out of the boat?
This is only my opinion, I am not a Biblical scholar or theologian. I think God places us in “the boat” for several reasons. My first thought is to build our faith but that is obvious. Maybe the disciples were scared of drowning so they uncourageously stayed in the boat. Maybe they are like me and sometimes I have to process in my brain what is going on and that takes a bit more time for me than others. I definitely am a visual person and have to see things to understand. Perhaps the disciples are like me. I have to see an action being completed for me to understand and learn. I am constantly learning on YouTube because I can watch a process and them perform the task. Possibly the disciples would have gotten out of the boat after they saw Jesus save Peter.
Jesus was walking on water and told Peter to come to Him, maybe they didn’t have trust in Jesus like Peter did. Peter was a rebel and fearless so it makes sense he would get out of the boat. BUT, being fearless will get you out of the boat, TRUST keeps you on top of the water. Peter got distracted which caused his trust to slip and into the water he went. It was a simple distraction of the wind blowing (possible the waves). I have done this many times. I jump into a project without consulting God and then kaploosh, I’m down in the water asking Him to save me.
I could speculate that this lesson was only for Peter and it wasn’t the disciples “time” to come out of the boat. I know God shows us things so we don’t have to go through a particular trial. I have witnessed in my ministry walks with victims of violent crime, the homeless, as well as families that are food insecure. I personally haven’t been called out of “the boat” with these difficulties as of yet. I believe God has me minister to these groups to open my eyes and build my faith. He places others in my life that I can help bridge the gap for others just as others were there for me when I needed “gaps” filled. You can sometimes stay in “the boat” and learn just as valuable lesson. God is good like that. God shows me others needs without me having the same needs because I am watching from “the boat”.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
Jesus walked on this earth out of love. God’s inspired Word, known as the Bible teaches us how to live a blessed life and how to have peace in our struggles. When Jesus left, He gifted us the Holy Spirit, God within us. He wouldn’t physically be here to call us out of the boat and walk on water leading us to learn to love and trust Him, so we have Him within us. He still grabs us out of the water and saves us just like Peter but, it is through the Holy spirit and not his physical hand.
Jesus used miracles to teach faith. Jesus did miracles for good and showed His love so others could understand. Jesus Christ is God “Incarnate,” and that wasn’t something many could comprehend at that time and even now. By doing miracles, Jesus helped the community believe He is God incarnate as a human.
Psalm 77:14 says You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
When we understand that Peter walking on water was a miracle and built faith (with Peter and the disciples) and that God has the power to do anything the passage becomes clearer. Medical miracles, financial miracles, relationship miracles happen every day. God still shows us that we can get out of “the boat” and have faith He is there for us.
My love and gratitude for you-LoLo