Summary: We must see Jesus and hear His voice in the midst of the storms of life. He will enable us to stay above the challenges if we stay focused on Him, all the way.
Jesus reached out His hand and grabbed Peter, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (14:31)
• This line is a revelation - if Peter had not doubted, he would have been walking still.
• If he had not allowed the wind to distract him, he could have reached Jesus, still afloat.
According to Jesus’ diagnosis, the key to staying afloat is faith.
• Faith in Christ will keep him from sinking.
• Faith in Christ today will keep us from sinking under the weights of life problems.
• Why? Because Christ is the reason he is walking on water.
• It has nothing to do with the storm or waves, nothing human, nothing intellectual. Christ is the only power that kept him up.
• Christ will be the reason we will stay afloat, above the challenges of life.
Peter has a higher calling. He is the ‘rock’ upon which Christ will build His church (Matt 16:18).
• But he must learn to stay focus on Christ, and not allow daunting difficulties to overwhelm him.
• He “will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it.”
• But he needs to stay focused.
Peter needs to know that, and we need to know that today - to fix our eyes on Jesus, and refuse to allow difficult circumstances to unnerve us.
Think for a moment. What do you think Jesus up to, walking on the water?
• Did he want to impress His disciples with a nice trick?
• The miracles that Jesus performed had often been for the benefits of the people.
• He healed the sick, the blind, the lame; He multiplied food for the hungry, gathered fishes for the fishermen, changed water into wine for a wedding couple, and the list goes on.
But this was different. This feat was almost like a show. But it wasn’t.
• When God met Moses, He appeared & spoke to him through a burning bush (Exo 3:2).
• When God had a message for Balaam, He caused a donkey to speak to him (Num 22).
• When God had a word for Elijah to encourage him, He came through in a gentle whisper, after a powerful wind, earthquake and fire tore through the mouth of the cave (1 Kings 19:11-12).
There is a pattern in these encounters.
• In each case, God had to get the person’s attention.
• In each case, God had a task for the person.
Jesus did not just perform a nice trick.
• He was revealing His divine presence and power, in a way that Peter must come to understand. Only God can do such a thing.
• Peter saw both His presence in the midst of the darkness, and His power in the midst of the storm.
• At every threatening encounter, we must see BOTH of these! It’s critical. Whether we sink or stand depends on our ability to see these with eyes of faith.
Peter saw, and wanted to experience His power.
• He said, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” (v.28)
• If He is his Master, then Peter wants to submit to His will and His call.
• Peter wasn’t playing a game, or seeking fun. It can never be fun to step out of the boat in any circumstances.
• Unless you call me to come, I’m not going to move!
Eleven other disciples were probably rooted in the boat out of fear, and speechless.
• Only Peter cried out. He really wanted to do what Jesus was doing.
• Remember WWJD – this was really Peter.
• You see in him a thirst to follow Christ – he is the one who confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; to one who declare that he will follow Him, even to die with Him; the only one who said that he loves Jesus.
That’s why, before he gets out of the boat, Peter wants to make sure Jesus thinks it’s a good idea.
• He asked for a confirmation, and Jesus said, “Come.”
• Peter says, “…tell me to COME TO YOU on the water.” (v.28)
• Verse 29 says Peter walked on the water and CAME toward Jesus.
• It’s very clear here – Jesus is the reason he is stepping out.
• He’s the object of his faith.
So Peter showed faith, he heard His call, and then he stepped out.
• And He got it! No wonder Jesus entrusted to him the responsibility of starting the church.
• That’s radical discipleship. We heard Christ’s call, obey His call and take the step to do it.
• This is not a risk-taking feat, like some bungee-jumping or parachuting thing. Peter was obeying the call of Jesus, to do what Jesus was doing.