Summary: There are times when we must rest in the unseen and believe the impossible by faith. Faith believes the impossible and trusts the Lord to meet our impossibilities. As we walk by faith on this level, great courage is also required.
Series: Walking by Faith # 5
The Courage of Peter
As we continue our study of walking by faith, I couldn’t imagine a series dealing with this subject without looking at the account we have read today. Mark and John also record the account of Jesus walking on the water, but only Matthew reveals Peter’s walk unto the Lord. This was a walk of faith in more ways than one. Peter literally placed his life in the hands of the Lord as he stepped out of the boat to go unto Him. He is the only man recorded in history who walked on water expect the Lord Himself. Peter’s act of faith required great courage.
Often we find ourselves dealing with situations that require great faith. Many times these situations require courage along with our faith. Faith believes and rests in the unseen, trusting the Lord to make a way when it appears there is no way. Faith believes the impossible and responds contrary to human reasoning or desire. Walking by faith rests in the ability of the Lord alone.
As we continue in our series, I want to discuss the phases of this walk of faith as we examine: The Courage of Peter.
I. The Discernment of Peter (28-29) – These verses reveal the discernment Peter had as they struggled in the midst of the Sea of Galilee. Had we read the preceding verses we would have discovered that they were being tossed in the midst of a contrary wind. John reveals they were twenty five to thirty furlongs from shore, roughly three to four miles. Clearly they were in a desperate situation that required more than they were able to give. As we consider Peter’s discernment, we discover:
A. His Recognition (28) – And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. Jesus was well aware of their dire situation and He came unto them, walking on the sea. As He drew near, Jesus spoke words of comfort to the disciples. Peter recognized the Lord had arrived in the midst of their difficulty. Some of the others may have recognized Jesus as well, but we only have an account of Peter actually speaking to Jesus.
Some would argue there is a bit of doubt and reservation in Peter’s words, but he was acting on faith. If we are to overcome and receive the help we so desperately need, we must recognize the Lord. We must be willing to admit our lack and recognize His ability to meet our need. Until we get to the end of ourselves, we will never actually walk by faith.
B. His Request (28) – And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. As we consider Peter’s request, our humanity sees this as ridiculous and even insane. Peter is in the relative safety of the boat, and yet he asked the Lord to bid him to walk on the water unto Him. The Scripture doesn’t reveal any response from Peter’s companions in the boat, but can you imagine their surprise? They likely thought Peter had lost his mind. Is he crazy enough to step out of the boat in the midst of this storm, this far from shore? Peter was often quick to speak, and his request may have come out before he had even considered the enormity of it. Regardless of the circumstances, Peter had requested to walk on the water to Jesus.
This challenged me as I considered our walk of faith. We speak of faith, but live very little in genuine faith. How long has it been since our faith motivated us to request something that required the supernatural power of the Lord to come to pass? We need the faith of Peter, faith that believes the impossible and seeks the Lord to meet our impossibility!
C. His Response (29) – And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. Likely this happened so quickly that Peter had little time to contemplate what was actually happening. Jesus granted his request, and before Peter knew it, he was standing in the midst of a raging sea. I tried to imagine how this must have felt as Peter initially stepped out of the boat. Surely he felt the wind blowing against his face. As the waves billowed, likely his clothes became wet from the churning sea. I don’t what it felt like to walk on water, but it had to be unlike anything Peter had experienced before. He had responded solely in faith. Human reasoning would have prevented such an action, but Peter had responded to the Lord’s call in faith. I am convinced he felt safer standing on the water going to Jesus, than sitting in the boat without Him.