And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night 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 14:22-31
Most often when we think about Peter walking on water with Jesus, we think of what could of have happened if Peter did not take his eyes off of Jesus. For as long Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he was able to walk on water. But when he began to put his focus on the big waves that the sea storm was making while he was walking on water, he became afraid. And because he became afraid, Peter began to sink into the water instead of walking on water. And when Peter began to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” And immediately, Jesus stretched forth his hand and pulled Peter out of the water and said, “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
You see, as long Peter had faith and kept his eyes on Jesus, he was able to walk on water, but when he saw how big the waves were getting while walking on water to Jesus, he became afraid, and when he became afraid, he began to doubt. And when he began to doubt, he began to sink. But thank God, Jesus was right there to save Peter from sinking and drowning in Sea of Galilee. And there is a lesson to be learned right there. And the lesson is that no matter how deep you may have sunk into your problems, Jesus is able to rescue out of your problems, and all you got to do is do like Peter said, “Lord, save me!” And the Lord will save you because there is no problem too great for God to handle.
Of course Peter could have done a whole lot more while walking on water with Jesus if he would have kept his eyes on Jesus. But yet there is one good thing that we can say about Peter: at least, he got out of the boat. At least he took a step of faith in Jesus and got out of the boat. Even though he may have failed while walking on water with Jesus because he took his eyes off of Jesus, but yet we still need to give Peter some credit for the fact that he DID get out of the boat; at least he took a step of faith and got out of the boat. Now notice this. Notice that Peter got out of the boat to walk to Jesus on water under some adverse conditions. First of all, when Peter got out of the boat, it was during a sea storm. Matthew 14:24 tell us that the ship that, or the boat that Peter was in was in a middle of a sea storm. Secondly, when Peter got out of the boat, it was dark. Matthew 14:25 said it was in the fourth watch of the night, that is, it was between 3 a.m and 6 a.m. when Peter got out of the boat. Yes, it was stormy and dark, but yet Peter still got out of the boat. And the reason why Peter got out of the boat, even though it was stormy and dark, was because Peter had faith in Jesus. And because Peter did get out of the boat, he received a blessing of being the only mortal man to have ever walked on water.
Sure, Peter was able to walk on water as long he kept his eyes on Jesus. But when he took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. Whenever we take our eyes off Christ and look to the world for our answers, we also will sink (into sin and forsake our salvation). Still one fact remains: at least Peter did get out of the boat. So the question is, “How come the other 11 disciples did not get out of the boat?”
Now there are at least 3 reasons why the other disciples did not get out of the boat.
1. The first reason why the other 11 disciples did not get out of the boat was because they were, of course, afraid. Even though Jesus assured them that he was not a ghost walking towards their ship on water, they were still afraid. And also add the fact that it was dark, and they were in the midst of a sea storm caused the other 11 disciples to be fearful and not step out of the boat.
2. The second reason why the other 11 disciples did not get out of the boat was because they had doubts. Even though Jesus assured them that he was not a ghost walking toward their ships on water, they still had some doubts in their minds. The other 11 disciples still believed it was a ghost walking towards them walking on water because no man has ever walked on water. But what the other 11 disciples did no realize was that Jesus Christ was no ordinary man. He was the God who can do all things, including walking on water.
3. The third reason why the other 11 disciples did not get out of the boat they felt safe in the boat even though Jesus was outside of the boat walking on water. Yes, the other 11 disciples did not get out of the boat because they were afraid, they had doubts, and they felt safe in the boat. And yes, the other 11 disciples ought to be ashamed of themselves for not stepping out of the boat like Peter did. But before we criticize those 11 disciples, how many of us are like the other 11 disciples? How many of us have been afraid to step out of the boat? How many of us has had some doubts and did not step out of the boat? Last, but not least, how many of us have felt so safe in the boat that we did not want to get out of it?
There are some “boats” that we have in this life that we tend to stay in for dear life. One of the boats that we tend to stay in for dear life is known as our “comfort zone.” Anytime the Lord commands us to step out in faith to do a great work for him, but yet we allow fear or doubt to take control of us, and we don’t move when the Lord says move because we don’t want to leave our comfort zone, we are in a “boat” that we don’t want to step out of. And anytime we refuse to step out in faith to do a work for the Lord because we don’t want to get out of our boats because of the comfort zone it presents, we will miss out on the blessing that the Lord has for us. In order for us sometimes to receive the blessings that God has for us, we must sometimes step out of our boats because our blessings may be out in the water and not in the boat. And when you step out of the boat, expect some storms to rise, expect some troubles to rise here and there; but don’t fear because as you step out of the boat to do a great work for the Lord, He will be right there to keep you safe in the storm.
Even though Peter experienced some difficulty in his “walk” of faith that stormy and dark night on the Sea of Galilee, at least he got out of the boat! What about you? Are you willing to brave the elements and conquer your fears and “walk” to Jesus? Maybe you need to pray Peter’s question, “Lord, if it’s you bid me come.” Revival and regeneration is still available for those that have enough faith to get out of the boat! Come!