Do you know the story about Jesus walking on water?
Yesterday at Bible Talk, our “leader” dwelled on Matthew 14:22-33. In case you don’t have a Bible close to you, here is an extract of the passage:
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.(C) Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,”(D) they said, and cried out in fear.
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,”(G) he said,“why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”(H)
There’s a great number of things we can learn from this passage, so I’ve decided to break it down to different posts so I can take time to chew and digest the message for you (eeww right?)
So because I have been seriously slapped around by the storms of life this summer, I’ll focus this post on verse 30; that way I can slip in my story as well.
Now, we probably know Peter as a very passionate person, who was overly confident in his loyalty to Jesus. And even though it is a really good character to have as a christian, if we’re not careful, it can lead us to a great deal of trouble.
How, you ask?
I have been a born-again for twelve years now, but still far from perfect. And you know why? One of my weaknesses has been the tendency to boast (in a really subtle way), like Peter, of never making a mistake in some aspects in life.
Again, nothing wrong with a little confidence and profession of your victory over temptation, but christians fall short when it comes to focusing on the right person – Jesus.
We can feel so confident that we can handle this “person” or that “situation”, so in order words “I don’t need you on this one Lord. I can handle it”- Terrible mistake.
Why? Because what happens when we carry this attitude around, we’re very likely to go ahead and intentionally put ourselves in dangerous situations, because we believe we are “the invincibles”.
Now you might have found yourself in such situation and were able to overcome it with flying colours. But what if you’ve never found yourself in that situation? What happens if the situation/person ends up being much stronger than we anticipated? Would you have a back-up plan?
From personal experience, in such situations you can easily forget all the Bible verses you’ve ever known, which leaves you with nothing else but your logic and reason – worse even your feelings – as your only source of judgement. And even though the saying that experience is the best teacher is true, some things are best avoided altogether, especially if it will leave a permanent mark on your life.
So back to the verse, when we take our eyes off Jesus, and look at the troubles, like the waves in Peter’s case, or simply just rely on our own strength, we will surely drown. It’s as simple as that, but whether it’s as easy is maybe up to you.
When we have our focus on Jesus, nothing will move us, because He is able to keep us from falling (Jude 1:24), and with the right focus in mind, we can walk on water like Jesus!