Title: Jesus Walks on Water
Scripture: Matthew 14:22-33 (NLT)
Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”“Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
Explanation: I am touched by the fact Jesus sent the twelve away...so He could pray. Jesus had just fed the 5000, and instead of resting on His laurels and hanging out, He feels the need to draw close to His Father’s heart. He gets alone in the presence of the Father to find strength and restoration. He obviously knows His Father well, but He needs a fresh experience of His Father’s presence to be able to fulfill His purposes.
God is near to all that call upon Him.Psalm 145:18
Up to this point in the book of Matthew, Peter has seen Jesus heal his mother-in-law, been present when Jesus calmed the storm, has seen Jesus cast demons out of a man, watched Him heal the paralytic, the blind, the withered hand, and feed the 5000. Through His teachings and deeds, Jesus has clearly established his divine power. The disciples are full of knowledge of God’s power, proof, and facts. Now they are going to learn about His presence.
Alone again in a boat, in a storm, they are terrified. The disciples had already been in a boat in one storm with Jesus, and He spoke to the storm and it stopped. That was a great solution. But this storm was not stopped but allowed to rage. Jesus is going to respond to their terror in a different way this time. Jesus will offer them His presence. Instead of stopping the storm, Jesus told them “take courage, I am here.” The storm howls, and instead of asking Jesus to stop it, Peter asks to come TO Jesus.
I love that response.
Peter, a seasoned sea man with a healthy respect for waves and a storm’s power over a boat, forgets about the wind, waves, and water…he wants Jesus. Jesus rewards Peter’s faith by empowering him to walk on the water of the storm. Even when Peter falters, Jesus grabs him, and once Peter gets his sights on Jesus, his power over the circumstances returns.
The storm rages and Peter walks, all because Jesus was there.
1. How would it change your day today if you believed Jesus’s words, “Take courage, I am here”?