Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
“Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
Matthew 14:22-32, NLT
Walking on water was not Jesus’ first miracle. In fact, it was not really unlike Him. From day one of His ministry, Jesus’ followers had seen Him make a habit of bending the rules over backwards, so taking a stroll on the lake was just Jesus being Himself.
No, the miracle of this night was not the ability of the Savior; the miracle was Peter’s trust in Him. After all that he had seen and experienced, even within the preceding 24 hours, Peter finally got it. He understood that Jesus was the One he was supposed to trust in – not in the rules of religion, not in the political power systems, not even in the natural order of things. It was all about Jesus, who He was and Peter’s connection to Him.
So, Peter took the risk. Despite the storm, despite the fear in himself and in his friends, despite the vague resemblance of the strange figure out on the water in the dark, Peter called out the name of his friend, Jesus, and threw his heart out onto the water. Then, his feet followed.
Why might Jesus have taken this unconventional walk that night? Perhaps He was giving His friends a chance to exercise the kind of trust they had watched Him have in His Father all day long. Perhaps He was inviting them to have the same kind of relationship with Him.
God is not codependent; He does not manipulate us into trusting Him. But He is consistently present, always waiting, offering to be at our side, seeking deeper relationship with us. God trusts us to come to Him. He knows that it is difficult, but He believes that we have what it takes to follow Him. So He waits on the water, walking where we cannot miss Him, ready to welcome us closer.
The Real Question: What difference does it make to know that God trusts me? Where might I walk with Him if I knew He had confidence in me?
Family Talk: While it is important to believe in God, perhaps it is more important to realize God believes in you! How does it make you feel to know that God believes in you?
ONE in Prayer: God, I humbly receive Your trust in me. May Your love draw me beyond where I am to where You are walking in the world. Help me to return Your trust and Your love with courage and faith. Amen.