Monday, August 31, 2009

Walking on Water

As I was researching the topic of faith, several times I came across the story of Jesus walking on the water. The story reads, “Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:25-31, KJV)

I read through numerous commentaries on these verses which talked about Peter’s doubt and fear that caused him to sink. As I pondered on the verses, I continually felt that I was missing some key lessons that were to be learned from this story. I began to wonder why Peter would ask to come out onto the water when Jesus was coming to get in the boat. After many hours of pondering, the spiritual impression came to me that Jesus had been teaching and telling the apostles that they were to do all the miracles that they had seen Him do. Matthew 10:5-8 reads, “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying . . . Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” They were to do many might miracles as they had seen the Savior do. He told them that with faith they would be able to perform miracles and that nothing would be impossible to them.

When Peter saw Christ walking on the water, he had faith that if Jesus could walk on water so could he. For Christ had not only told Peter that through faith he could perform miracles but had also commanded Peter to perform miracles in His name. So Peter seeing the miracle of walking on water exercised his faith to perform this miracle also. A key to understanding this story is the phrase, “when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water.” (Matthew 14:29, KJV) Peter walked on water. It is not surprising that Jesus walked on water. He is God. He fed 5,000 with two fish and five loafs of bread, He cast out devils, He raised the dead, and He healed the sick. I believe it is much easier to believe that Christ can perform such miracles than it is to believe that we can perform such miracles in His name. The most amazing part of the story is that Peter, a mere man, walked on water. I wondered why Jesus would have answered, “Come” in response to Peter’s request to walk on the water. What was the purpose? The impression that came to me in answer to this question was that Jesus was showing Peter, the other disciples in the boat, and each of us who reads the New Testament today that with faith in Christ we can each do the mighty miracles which Christ performed. Reading about Peter walking on water should increase our faith to perform miracles in the name of the Lord. If we believe in Christ, signs and miracles will occur, Mark 16:17-18 reads, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

Jesus is saying to each of us, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible.” (Mark 9:23, KJV) We should each strive to follow the example of the disciple Stephen found in Acts 6:8: “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.”