22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Jesus said, "Come"
Our Bible passage today has three main "characters" or groups of people: Jesus, Peter, and the disciples. The day had been long; Jesus had preached for several hours to a crowd of over 5000. After miraculously feeding the crowd, the disciples got into a boat to travel to the other side of the lake. Jesus, however, took this time to spend some private time praying to God, His Father. As the night drew to a close, a terrible wind was lashing at the boat. Jesus, knowing the disciples' fear, went to them. When they saw Him walking on the water, they were really terrified, because they thought He was a ghost!
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter immediately stepped up on the water and walked to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”
The Lord reached out His hand and helped him back to the boat. As soon as they stepped into the boat, the winds stopped. How did the disciples react?
And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
When Jesus says, "Come," who are we more like? Do we stand trembling in the background like the disciples, or do we bolt forward like Peter, and then begin to sink when we are filled with doubts. The interesting thing to note is that in the end, all of them responded correctly.
Peter launched forward in faith, began to doubt, but then cried out to Christ for help. The disciples stood trembling in the background, but when they saw that the even the wind and the waves obeyed Christ, they said, Truly you are the Son of God.
If we find ourselves doubting or being overcome by fear, does that mean that we are not Christians? No, it means that we are human! The hymn says it this way:
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it.
Prone to leave the God I love.
When Jesus said, "Come," the answer for both groups was to cling to Christ, realizing that Jesus truly was the Son of God.
Today we, too, understand that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save a people for Himself, and sits by the throne of God interceding for us.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!
God Bless You,
All Scriptures are from the English Standard version of the Bible.