So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus Matt 14:29.
Getting a clearer image
My post is actually about the section where Peter walks on water found in Matt 14:22-31. It is a wonderful section. So often we find ourselves hearing these passages and also reading them so many times that our familiarity with them makes us so complacent! Only because we think we know everything or, at least, most things about the passage, we basically have it all covered. For me, no matter how well I know a passage or book in the Bible, I don’t think I will ever know everything there is to know. The King always reveals something new that I never would have known had I not let Him do that.
In this text, there are some important things to note about. First of all the Sea of Galilee, which Israelis know as lake Gennesaret, rises anywhere from 3m to 9m! It was also the fourth watch of the night which is 3:00-6:00 in the morning (v25). That means the disciples could barely see Jesus when he suddenly appeared to them (v26). It is safe to say that it may have been winter during that time and at that period in the morning it was still pretty dark. Combining that with very forceful winds and waters rising and dipping every second, that experience clearly must have been very scary! That gives us a good idea of what the disciples were going through.
After Jesus calms them down, something significant happens:
And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” v28-30.
The Lord gives a command to come. Peter managed to stay on course as long as he obeyed the word. Given that it was the rhema word and not the logos (written) word, he still obeyed and moved by faith. Obeying the word can be an act of faith some times because it is not always easy to do everything it says. Pay attention to what happened after Peter obeyed. He stepped out. That is the key point here. If you notice, no one else stepped out. Only Peter took that step of faith out of the boat. Given the situation, that in itself was very commendable because he could have easily chosen a method or action for Jesus to perform as proof of His true appearance, that however, would have been an act of doubt since Jesus proved earlier on in the chapter His credibility.
With the waves going up and down and the wind blowing hard, Peter had stepped out. In the end, this is the principle of faith: Peter couldn’t walk until he stepped out of the boat. As I always love to quote Joyce Meyer: if you’re afraid, do it afraid. They say that courage is not the absence of fear but acting in spite of it. If there is a plan B, it means you have something to fall back on and that’s not faith. You cannot walk by faith if you don’t first step out in faith. Challenge yourself this year, in what ways are you going to step out in faith as you believe God for whatever you need?