In our current technological age there is so much information out there that it is mind boggling. With recent articles and talk of “Fake News” there are many times when you don’t know who is right or who to listen to. That’s why I have found a section of Matthew 14 to be quite revealing lately.
Jesus had just finished feeding the 5000 and the disciples were headed to Bethsaida by boat.
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:22-33 ESV
Several things in this passage have been standing out to me. First, the disciples left in the boat sometime just before evening. Jesus didn’t come to them until the 4th watch of the night which was between 3 and 6 AM. They had been rowing all night in a storm and made very little progress. John’s Gospel says they had only gone 3 or 4 miles. Mark’s Gospel says the disciples were “straining at the oars.” These men were experienced fishermen yet after that many hours of rowing they were spent, toasted, total exhausted and at their end. That is when Jesus came to them. Many times in life you will find that Jesus shows up just when you have hit rock bottom, when you are spent and can’t take anymore. That is when Jesus comes to you on the water.
The second thing I have noticed is Peter’s reaction to seeing Jesus walking on water. He sees someone out there but does not know who it is. He says “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Peter wants cred. He wants identification. He’s not just going to get out of that boat in a storm for just anyone, but if it is Jesus he’s all in. We tend to jump out of our boat for whatever the latest or greatest thing is that comes along but we can take a lesson from Peter. Be sure who it is that you are following. There are a lot of voices out there calling us out of the boat but only one, voice that will lead us in the right direction.
Lastly, and this isn’t really in scripture, but why did Peter sink into the sea? Scripture says he noticed the wind and the waves and took his focus off Jesus. But I sometimes wonder about the other disciples. What were they doing all this time? Now this is just my own thoughts but if you look at all the scripture involving the disciples they were a bunch of guys just like a lot of us. Arguing with one another. Trying to one up each other. There are times when they argue about who is the greatest and which one will sit next to Jesus in Heaven. So I can’t help but think there would have been some cat calls coming from the boat. Guys asking “What do you think you are doing?” “Are you crazy? Who do you think you are?” “Get back in the boat, you’ll drown.” “You idiot, you can’t walk on water.”
It’s not too far of a stretch of the imagination to think that the other disciples made a few comments toward Peter and those comments distracted him. We all have people in our own boat as we go through life and from time to time they will be calling to us to get back in. They will tell us that we don’t know what we are doing and that we are crazy or that we shouldn’t follow or we are wasting our time. Don’t listen to the voices coming from the boat. Make sure how it is that you are following and listen to His voice. There are many out there these days but only one that will guide you in the right direction. Jesus Christ.
If you haven’t heard His voice and don’t know Jesus and want to talk about how you can have a relationship with Him, just click the Contact Me link at the top of the site page and I’d be happy to talk with you.