Read Matthew 14-15
Highlight: Matthew 14:27-29
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Jesus bids us be courageous, even in situations when realistically we should be afraid. I have never seen anyone walking on water, but if I did, I would certainly be terrified like the disciples. But I love how Peter takes hold of his fear and asks Jesus to call him out on the water. Peter kept his eyes on Jesus and started walking across the water towards Jesus. By faith Peter did what Jesus asked of him. Then Peter saw the wind blowing, catching the tips of the waves and rocking the boat. Logic kicked back in, along with his fear, and Peter began to sink. “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. Think about that – how quickly Jesus responded. Why did Peter need to fear? Even if Jesus was far enough away that Peter thought he might drown, Jesus came to his side immediately. Peter cried out and Jesus was there. Jesus chastised him a bit, saying, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
The problem, as I see it, is not our fear. It is that we fail to cry out to God for help, and even when we do, we doubt Jesus will be there for us. The small courage Peter presumed to have when he climbed out of the boat was insufficient against the winds around him. We too do not have enough courage on our own, and maybe that’s good, lest we presume we can be as God. We receive strength beyond our imagining when we keep our focus on Jesus, when we learn to count on his presence and know that we will be saved.
Peter could see Jesus straight in front of him. That’s a blessing we do not have right now. What our physical eyes cannot perceive, our eyes of faith can receive. The miracle then was that Peter was able to walk on water; the joy now is that Jesus has a hand stretched out, ready to catch us if we fall. We are blessed by faith to call him Son of God and Savior. He saves us still.
Dear God, in Jesus I want to find the courage to face my fears, if I will keep my eyes focused on him. Help me, Lord, lest my worries hem me in and limit me so I cannot serve you with a whole heart. Let me give you all my fears, for you hold me close in your love. Set my feet securely on paths where Christ leads. I give you all praise and glory in Jesus Christ our savior. Amen.