Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said and cried out in fear. 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. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”- Matthew 14: 22-31
I see myself in Peter most often. I have moments of audacious faith, followed almost immediately by doubt. In Matthew 14, Peter is the one who comes up with the crazy idea to meet with Jesus on the water. It’s an odd affirmation of Christ, but Peter must have needed to do something crazy in order to confirm Jesus was indeed the Messiah.
Peter asks Jesus to protect him in his water-walking confirmation of faith. Jesus honors Peter’s request. As soon as he took his eyes off Jesus, Peter begins to sink. I know we’ve all heard this story, using that exact moment to remind us to continually keep our eyes on our Savior. But until today, I had not thought much about Jesus’ rebuke.
“You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”...
I almost hear the voice of my Savior laughing a bit right then. "Seriously, Peter?! You wanted proof, and I gave it to you as you walked on water. Why, even for a moment, did you doubt me? You were already on the water!"
Why do I doubt God after I have already taken a leap of faith? Why do I doubt Christ’s deity, power or promises when He’s already proven faithful?
I wish I could have a glimpse of what words, if any, were exchanged once Jesus pulled Peter back to his feet. They still had a boat to board. And the waves didn’t die down until they were on that boat. Maybe Peter was silent, contemplating his doubt. Maybe he enjoyed meaningful conversations with Christ. Whatever happened between the water becoming walkable for the second time and Peter placing his feet back on the boat, I’m almost certain Peter did not take his focus off of Christ.
When I start to doubt, I’m going to remember that Christ really is in control. He had the power to allow a mere human a water-walking, faith-testing moment that changed Peter’s perspective. But that’s not where the lesson ends. There were others on that boat. Peter was the only one who made an audacious request. When everyone witnessed the event, the only words they could utter were, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”
Lord, may I have the courage to walk on the waters you have for me. May my eyes never drift away from You. And may all who witness my walk of faith agree that You are indeed the Son of God. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Born with a severe case of wanderlust, I'm always searching for new adventures and sharing those stories here.