Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew [14:31]
It was a dark and stormy night—like the cliché opening of a novel. In this case, it fits. Between three and four o’clock in the morning, the disciples got caught in a storm on the Sea of Galilee. At least four of the twelve were experienced, career fishermen. They knew enough about the reputation of this lake to be terrified. The rest of the disciples took their cues from the experts. If a seasoned fisherman like Simon Peter felt scared, shouldn’t they be scared too?
Then, just when they thought the wind and waves would take them under, Jesus walked by on the water! The disciples “cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid’” (Matthew [14:26]–27). Basically, Jesus asked, “Why do you doubt? I’m right here.”
Peter extrapolated this to the next point. “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” (Matthew [14:28]). Don’t you love Peter’s boldness? He was quick to respond with faith, reasoning that if Jesus said he could walk on water, he could. So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me’” (Matthew [14:30]).
Awww, Peter! You were doing so well. What happened?
The answer comes straight from the text—Peter took his eyes off the Lord. Instead of seeing Jesus, he saw the raging storm. Does that ever happen to you? When your eyes are fixed on the Lord, life is good, regardless of what’s going on around you. But the moment you focus on the wind and waves, you start to sink.
Written by James MacDonald
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