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Can You Walk On Water? | Matthew 14:22-36

Would you sink, swim, or call on Jesus?

This week, we study Matthew chapter 14:22-36. Let’s dig in!

Listen along to the episode here or on your favorite podcast app

Imagine you are on a boat on the Sea of Galilee.  You know that this body of water is prone to storms popping up without warning, you’ve lived and worked around it all your life.  It’s the middle of the night and the wind has picked up.  Soon it is howling and there are waves crashing into the sides of the boat.  You are not afraid, but you are wary and certainly not able to sleep or relax.  As you watch the water you think your eyes must be playing tricks on you because there appears to be a man walking towards the boat.  This can’t be possible.  You are miles from shore.  One of your friends shouts that it’s a ghost.  The “ghost” answers, “It’s Me.  Don’t be afraid.” 

So, if you were on that boat, how would you have responded?  I often agree with Peter in biblical stories.  I can see a lot of myself in him.  However, I am pretty sure I would never have said, “oh yeah?  Call me out to you.”  Listen, I do not like being in or even on water.  I prefer to be water adjacent.  I love to look at it, but that’s about it unless I need to cool off.  When we visited Israel in February of 2019, I was nervous about getting on a boat on the Sea of Galilee.  It was a calm day and I tried to picture what it would have been like to look out and see Jesus standing there.  It is a very moving experience.  It is heavy with significance.  But I still wouldn’t have climbed over the side of the boat. 

Peter teaches us several really good lessons here.  One being that he obeyed Jesus’s call to step out of the boat.  Peter wanted Jesus to put his money where his mouth is and he did, so Peter had to do the same.  I cannot even fathom what that must have felt like.  I wish Matthew had recorded how Peter reacted at that first step.  What Matthew does record is that Peter suddenly remembers that the wind is gusty and the waves are crashing.  I think Peter was zoned in on Jesus until either a gust hit him or a wave really got him.  At that point Peter freaks out and starts to sink.  When Peter’s focus shifts away from Jesus is when he gets in a mess.  The second lesson is that he cries out to the Lord for him to save him.  The third is to keep our eyes on Jesus no matter what is going on around us.  Jesus of course reaches out and pulls Peter back on top of the water.  He doesn’t place him back in the boat.  Peter has to walk on water with Jesus to get back on the boat.  I wish I knew what was said on the way back to the boat.  As soon as Jesus gets in the boat the wind and waves calm. 

Would you have gotten out of the boat?  Would you keep your eyes on Jesus?  Would you sink, swim, or call on Jesus?

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