Summary: This is week three of my seven part series based on Andy Andrews book "The Travler’s gift" This week is the active decision and we look at Peter walking on the water.
The entire world just disappeared. One minute it was there and the next minute, there it was gone. Well not really but it seemed like everything else had ceased to exist, and all there was left was Peter, the sea and Christ. It had started off as another boat trip across the Sea of Galilee for the twelve while Jesus stayed behind, it was a beautiful evening, with a star filled sky and then bang, a storm blew up from nowhere. What was it that Yogi Berra said, “It was like deja vu all over again.” Peter remembered another boat trip across the same stretch of water when a storm had blown up and threatened to swamp their boat. The difference being that this time there was no Jesus to stand in the bow and rebuke the wind.
And so the disciples desperately struggled against the storm as they made their way slowly across the lake. A short trip soon turned into an epic journey. The daylight had fled in the path of the impending night and the sunset had been a crimson slash across the western sky ushering in a heaven like black velvet studded with chips of diamond. But soon the stars were hidden by an increasing number of clouds and the wind whipped the shallow depths of Galilee into a boiling cauldron of froth. They were bow into the wind and it seemed that every metre had to be fought for and bought with a price. But they had been through worse and survived, after all they made their living on the sea, but it was a lot more fun without the gale force winds.
Then it happened they’re struggling at the oars, they’d had to pull the main sail down to keep it from being torn to shreds, and somebody said “what is that?” Well talk about freak city. There was somebody walking out there. No there couldn’t be he had to be in a boat, nope there wasn’t any boat, “it’s a ghost” somebody yelled, and well there wasn’t a great deal of time for consultation it would appear that was the consensus. What next? First they were battling for their lives in a storm, now they have a ghost walking on the water? When Peter had said earlier “cheer up, things could be worse” he didn’t entirely expect things to get worse. Well there was only one thing left to do. So they did it, they screamed, in fear. But a familiar voice came across the water saying Matthew 14:27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” It was Jesus, and I’m sure that Peter was thinking “I hate it when he does stuff like this” I kind of like the N.K.J.V. translation here because Jesus say’s “be of good cheer”. Oh, no problem. We’ve been in a storm that been threatening to sink us for the past seven hours, we’re wet and we’re cold, and now out of nowhere a dude walks across the water and says “hey guys cheer up” not a problem. But then he qualifies his first statement by adding, “It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Pretty stiff translation if you ask me, picture a carpenter saying “take courage! It is I. don’t be afraid” how about “hey guys, it’s me and I’ve got everything under control”
Well I don’t know about the rest of the disciples but Peter believed him because he stands up and shouts into the wind, Matthew 14:28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” Tell you what that is a Peter statement if I ever heard one. Well you know the rest of the story don’t you, Jesus says “yes, come,” and Peter crawls over the gunwales of the boat puts one foot on the water, not in the water but on the water, tests it puts his other foot on the water and starts to walk toward Jesus. I wonder what he was thinking. There’s spray blowing in his face, the waves are slapping against his legs and he’s - walking - on - the - water. Hot diggity dog, walking on the water, he can hardly believe it, everything else seems to disappear except for Jesus and the sea and him.
Now personally I think the devil showed up about that time and whispered in Peter’s ear, “hey dummy, you can’t walk on water you’re going drown.” if Peter was like the majority of commercial fisherman and seaman that I know he couldn’t swim, and had a fairly healthy respect and fear of the sea and suddenly he realized that people don’t walk on water, people walk under water and so the bible tells us that he began to sink, and that’s where we come in.