Matthew – Fulfilled.
When we haven’t seen someone in a long time, the first thought on most of our minds is the question, “Is that really you?” Then as we get closer and closer to them and look into their eyes. It is then that we realize who it is and exclaim, “It IS you, it’s really you!” A connection is made from past to present.
Jesus has only been gone from his disciples for a few hours. He had sent his disciples on ahead to go to the other side of the sea. You probably know the story well. But as I look at this familiar walking on water story, I am stopping to think about the first question of Peter, who generally speaks before thinking things through. I relate to Peter well. He says, with gusto, “Master, if it’s really you, call to me to come to you on the water.”
What? I know, at 4 o’clock in the morning the sun is yet to appear, but seriously WHO else could it be walking on sea? (Especially after all the miracles Jesus has already done!) At least Peter is not afraid to get out of the boat to go IF it is Jesus. But he must be sure it is Jesus he is going to and not someone who will let him sink.
Risking it all is okay as long as we know it is Jesus calling us. We ask ourselves, many times, “Jesus, is it really you?” When we look deep into the eyes of our Lord, with our eyes of faith, that risky first step out of comfort zone and safe living becomes trustworthy and bold. It is a mixed bag of excitement, an adrenlyn rush of overcoming human fear with a passion to follow the One and Only no matter what is swirling all around us.
When Jesus says, “Come on, let’s do this!” Peter jumps from the boat. Did you get that? He is not hanging onto the sides to shove off. He is not being pushed from behind from the other disciples. (Smiling at this thought.) He is not asking others if he should do this or not. He is not doing it in stages, like putting a toe in the water first to test the temperature of the water. Nope. Peter JUMPS in, feet first.
Then he look down, at the situation he had jumped into. He probably thought, “well, I did it again…jumped in without thinking this through”. Yikes, now what? I can’t fix this.” Then his eyes look from the situation back to Jesus with another bold, sincere, passionate Peter prayer, “Master, save me.” It only takes a few words to get our Lord’s attention.
Jesus does not hesitate. He does not lecture Peter first. He does not let him “sink or swim” to teach him a lesson. He merely reaches down to Peter, at his level, and grabs his hand. THEN, Jesus says, “Faint-heart, what got into you?” I picture the two of them laughing about the whole episode as they walked back to the boat together and climb in with those watching with awe.
Matthew 14, The Message
24-26 Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror.
27 But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
28 Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.”
29-30 He said, “Come ahead.”
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”
31 Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”
32-33 The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!”
–It is good and fitting to ask ourselves before doing anything of value and significance, “Jesus is it really you asking me to do this? There are so many good things to be involved in, but what is the one thing Jesus is calling me to do?
–When our faithful eyes focus on the circumstance instead of the Father, do call out immediately, Master, save us? He will, you know. It is the quickest way to get back to following Jesus, in the rhythm of His grace as He grabs our hand and lifts us up.
–The “watchers from the boat” decide because of Peter’s risk and Jesus’ actions that He was indeed the Son of God. Mm, do our actions of faith lead others to recognize Jesus with a desire to follow Him, too?
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are God and we are not. It is really You who calls, sends, cares, loves, and mercifully grabs our hands so we won’t drown in life’s circumstances. Thank you, Lord. My faith and trust are in You. May my eyes stay focused on You. Master, save us.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.