Saturday, 29 September 2007
Walking on the Water
It had been an extremely busy day for the Lord. He had preached to the multitude and healed their sick. Even as night began to fall the people would not let Him be, so he fed them – 5,000 with five loaves and two fish.
However, it was time to depart. Jesus sent His disciples off in a boat across the sea of Galilee – He would join them later. The Lord went up to the mountain to be alone to pray to His Father. He had just received news that John the Baptist had been beheaded by Herod the tetrarch, Jesus needed time alone to speak with His Father.
Mean while, out on the Sea the weather was starting to get worse. In the little boat the disciples were being battered and swamped by the waters. In the early hours of the morning they noticed something far away on the surface of the water, As it came closer they became afraid and cried out, “It is a ghost”, Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Jesus was coming to them – walking on the water!
We can scarcely imagine what was going on in the minds of the disciples. For the time being all thoughts of the storm that was still raging around them were forgotten and they watched this amazing miracle of the Lord. Peter cried out to Jesus, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Jesus’ simple reply was, “Come”.
Having been given this command Peter stepped out of the boat. For Peter at this moment there was nothing but Jesus. He stepped out of the boat and he began walking on the water! Sadly, all of a sudden Peter became aware of what he was doing. He looked and saw the waves and felt the bitting wind. He became afraid and began to sink, crying out, “Lord, save me”. Jesus reached out his hand and saved him from sinking, taking him to the boat. When they got into the boat the wind stopped and the waves died down.
We can read of this remarkable miracle in Matthew 15:22-33 and Mark 6:45-52. When we think of Jesus walking on the water we are filled with the same awe and wonder as the disciples that early morning, but more than that I want to consider the fact that Peter also walked on the water.
This remarkable fact is often over looked when this story is told, but is of immense importance to us today. We need to learn from what Peter did and his mistakes. As long as Peter was focusing on Jesus he was able to walk of the water. As soon as that focus changed he faltered.
It is the same for us today. While we might not walk on the water, we need to keep Jesus as our focus in this life. He is the Saviour, He is the King. Jesus is the one who will bring us eternal salvation. In this busy world we live in there are many distractions that rise up over us like huge waves and batter us like strong wind. If we allow these distractions to take our focus away from Jesus we will falter just as Peter did.
Keep your eyes upon Jesus – Follow Him, obey Him.