Today, I want to look at what was described in Matthew 14, right after Jesus feeds the 5,000. If you read verse 21, “The number of those who ate was about five thousand, besides women and children,” you understand they were even greater in number than just 5,000. We often simplify the story by referencing that number, but it was likely an even more mind-blowing number than that!
But the next part of the chapter is what I want you to take a real look at. From verse 22 through verse 33, it’s about Jesus walking on the water. But I don’t want to focus on Jesus walking on the water – I want to focus on Peter walking on the water.
Jesus was out on the water, and the disciples were terrified until they realized it was him. Then Peter tells Jesus to prove himself by inviting Peter onto the water with him. Jesus calls to Peter, and Peter walks on the water toward Jesus.
Suddenly, the wind comes and Peter becomes aware of his own limitations. He begins to sink and calls out to Jesus for help. Jesus reaches out to him and says “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Think about that for a little bit. This constantly happens to us as Christians. We are focused on the Lord and trusting him, and then something happens to distract us and make us doubt, and we fall right back into the mess of things. When we stay focused on him we walk on water; we can walk through any situation and survive!
Now, I ended up talking to someone about this very passage recently and he brought up some things that I had not originally considered. So these next couple things come from him and what he pointed out to me.
Peter was a fisherman. He was out on a boat thousands of times—in that particular water thousands of times—don’t you think he knew how to swim? In the state of panic, he called out to Jesus, when he already knew that he could swim. He probably wouldn’t have drowned. But he realized who he needed to help him and keep walking on water. He knew he couldn’t be above the waves without the help of Jesus.
With Jesus, he helps us to walk above the chaos of life all of the time. We walk on water. Though the waves may be tough and we may get sprayed by the ocean from time to time, we are constantly walking above all that with Christ. Yes, we could slip and fall into the water by trying to walk through the situations of life on our own and tell God, “Hey, I got this for now.” But we can call out to Him, focus on Him, trust in Him, and get back above the craziness in our life and keep walking on water.
When this was shared with me, it changed my whole perspective on the story and on my life. I hope it helps to change how you look at things too. We need to get out of the boat and realize that though we could probably swim in the water, Jesus keeps us above the water and helps us to handle life as it comes to us. We don’t have to sink into the troubles of this world.
Why do we have such little faith in the Lord? Hasn’t he shown himself to be faithful over and over? Hasn’t he brought you out of situations that you thought you would never make it through? Keep your focus on Him and His strength and His power, and He will bring you through yet again.
Even when it doesn’t make logical sense, keep going toward Him. I came across this quote one time and it’s stuck with me. I’m not even sure who said it anymore:
“God can do nothing for me until I recognize the limits of what is humanly possible, allowing him to do the impossible.”
This doesn’t mean that we don’t do all that we can, but we need to trust that the Lord has given us the tools and abilities to do the impossible through the Holy Spirit that lives inside us. If we understood the power that we have inside of us, we would not fear walking out on the water or what the Lord is doing. We would be at such peace and have such hope and faith.
Remember John 16:33, where Jesus says, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” He is so faithful and powerful, and He will help us through any situation, no matter what. So take a chance, step out of the boat, focus on Jesus, and see that you can walk on water.