The night was cool. Jesus had just finished feeding 5,000 people off 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Not only that, but they had more leftovers from the feast than they had at the beginning of the scene. Jesus and his disciples immediately leave after dinner on their boat to go to the other side. Jesus gets out to pray alone leaving the disciples sitting in the boat. Before long the sun sets. A nice breeze begins to build and before you know it the boat is drifting away. We’ve all seen it, the floaty in the lake drifting away, someone has to go get it before it ends up in the middle of the lake.
3am comes around and Jesus’ posse is asleep in the boat out in the middle of the sea. 3am comes around and I am asleep as well, hard to blame them for that. “Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea they were troubled saying “it is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear.” Matthew 14:25-26. If I am completely honest, id be screaming in fear as well, waking up from a nap you see something walking on the surface of the water. Don’t tell anyone, but at a sight like that, I’m screaming like a little school girl! Jesus responds calmly and lovingly, “It’s alright, I am here! Do not be afraid”. Like a father who hears his kids screaming from a nightmare in the other room, he reassures them, I’ve got this, I am here.
I love Peter. If there is a picture of someone in the bible that is an everyman’s man, it’s Peter. He says, “Ok, if it’s really you Lord, tell me to come out to you and walk on the water”. Either Peter is brilliant here or a maniac. Peter essentially puts his very life in danger, because what I haven’t mentioned yet is that a storm cloud has blown in and the waves have begun pushing their boat around like a ragdoll in the open sea. What would have happened if it wasn’t the Lord? Peter could have stepped out of the boat and that would have been the last of him. So Jesus tells him to get out of the boat and peter begins, slowly one leg reaches over the edge, tips his toe at the surface of the water, pulls it back. Sweat beating on his brow. He looks up at Jesus and in a moment of faith, takes a step down on the surface. He begins walking towards Jesus. How cool is this Peter must have thought, I am walking on the water! And then comes the moment that he immediately wishes he could have back, Like Wiley E. Coyote who just overran the road runner and looks down to find nothing but a 900 foot drop off the side of a cliff. He takes his eyes off the savior and places them on his troubles, the waves that are beating around his knees and he begins to doubt. He sinks down in the water and he screams in vs. 30 “Save me Lord”. Those are wise words for us to use, in our moment of trouble.
“Instantly, Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him. “You don’t have much faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt?”” Our savior instantly responds with love, grabs our arms as we begin to sink in our doubts. Like a father watching his infant child take its first steps, all the while so proud and then the child’s knees buckle and they tumble to the floor and Jesus reaches out and grabs our arm and says, “I love you, I’ve got you. I am here, why did you doubt?” So in your moments of trouble and your moments of peace, always remember this lesson from Peter. What got him in trouble? When he started looking at everything being thrown his way, when he took his eyes off of Jesus. “Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of God”. Hebrews 12:2