Jesus’ life in this world was filled with numerous miracles and showed his authority over everything. We are all aware that humans can’t walk on water because we were not created to do that, but Jesus, who has authority over all creation, could do that and commanded Peter to do it. This indeed is a miracle that cannot be comprehended.
In Matthew Chapter 8, Jesus is seen calming the storm and, it is important to note that in this passage there is a great storm and waves with the disciples finding themselves in a state of fear while Jesus was sleeping in the boat. In the text, the disciples said, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” and Jesus’ reply was, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:25 and 26). Jesus then calms the storm and peace was achieved. Beloved in Christ, our gospel today, from Matthew 14:22-23 shows Jesus walking on the water and when the disciples saw him they were terrified and thought him to be a ghost, and cried out in fear and at once Jesus called out to them and said “Take courage, it is I” At this point Peter asks the Lord to command him to also come and walk on the water. Jesus obliged and commanded Peter to come so he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water to meet Jesus but hearing the wind, he became frightened and when he began to sink, he called upon Jesus to save him, and Jesus put out his hand immediately and held him. Jesus then says, “Man of Little Faith” and, “Why did you doubt?” Jesus then enters the boat, and the wind becomes calm. These passages make it very clear that faith is important in every Christian’s life because it is impossible to please God without it.
Jesus after sending the crowds away went into the hills by himself to pray. Jesus is showing all of us the importance of prayer, this is because prayer is one of the key things that build our faith as Christians. Jesus also saw the need for retreat and solitude where we can spend time with God privately, encourage and motivate ourselves.
Jesus after his retreat, realized that the boat was a long way from land and decided to do the unthinkable by walking on the water to catch the boat. The only person who can decide to walk on water would not be any other than someone whom the wind and the sea obey, and that person is Jesus Christ. The disciples on seeing Jesus thought he was a ghost and so they became very terrified that they cried out in fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 is clear
“ for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
We have been admonished consistently in the scriptures that we should fear not but we always become afraid when we face challenges and difficulties in our Christian life. Jesus is telling us that we should fear not because he is with us and there is nothing too hard for him to do.
Jesus’ reply to the disciples was ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.’ We must always know that even in our challenges and difficulties, Jesus is always with us, assuring us of his protection, and guidance and encouraging us not to be afraid. Peter had a little doubt in himself so he said “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He knew that if he is his Lord, then he will be in safe hands when he walks on the water with his command. Peter stepped out of the boat and walked towards Jesus when he commanded him to, and this is a clear exhibition of Peter’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Beloved in Christ are we ready to step out in faith from our comfort zones and explore other areas of our lives which God wants us to work on or our Christian journey and the church? Growing in faith is stepping out of our comfort zones and taking up the challenge of new things to help the growth of our own Christian life and the church with our attention fixed on Jesus.
Stepping out of our comfort zones will always be challenging and very tough but when we focus on Jesus and stand firm in our faith, we will chalk huge successes because it is Jesus who has called us, and he will always remain faithful and never leave us comfortless. Peter lost his focus when he heard the wind, so he began to sink but on realizing his frailty at that moment, he cried unto Jesus “Lord, save me’. We will sometimes lose our focus on Jesus when difficulties come our way, but we should quickly call on him for support and direction. Proverbs 3:5-6 says
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Let us always stand firm in our faith and never doubt even in challenging situations. We must be prayerful, find time to be with God in private and always look up to him for strength, hope and support and he will stretch his hand for us. Amen.