Get Out of the Boat
This week I want to tell you a story about Peter. This is one of those stories we all know, but sometimes it’s the stories we have heard time and time again that can provide us the greatest revelation when it comes to faith. After feeding the 5000 Jesus sent his disciples to the other side of the Sea of Galilee in a boat. Lets see what happened.
22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
So as they are about halfway across the sea the winds pickup and it begins to storm. You can imagine they were pretty scared as that would be an intense situation being in a little fishing boat. So heres what happened next.
25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
I like to try and place myself in the boat at the time this happened and just imagine how things went down. A lot of people read this story in the Bible and just imagine a peaceful, still body of water with Jesus walking across. But when we pay attention to the passage we see that the boat was “In the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves”, so we are talking about some violent waters.
I’m sure the adrenaline of the crashing waves was enough to send them over the edge in fear and make their imaginations run wild, then they see a figure walking across these violently shifting waters and they cry “It’s a ghost!”
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
When Jesus revealed Himself to Peter he asked that he ask him to come out onto the water with him. He does so and Peter had to take a great step of faith to step out of the boat. Because not only is the boat rocking and being thrown about by the water, but its likely that the sea itself was quite turbulent and uninviting. But then we see that Peter saw the wind was boisterous, or very strong he began to lose focus and sink. It is important to realize that Peter did not have a problem until he took his focus off of Jesus and started to look at what was around him, this distracted him and probably frightened him.
I know I would probably be scared if I looked down and saw that I was standing on top of the water while the turbulent waters crashed against my feet.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
Jesus pulled Peter out and saved him from sinking and commented on his lack of faith. He took his eyes off of Jesus and started to lose faith, he started to doubt his trust in Jesus when he saw the extreme circumstances.
Sometimes we are up against extreme circumstances and we have to take that first step of faith to get moving. So what are you waiting for?