Moment in the Word
Tue, 08/22/2023 - 4:26pm admin
(Matthew 14:28-29) And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 - And he said, Come...
Trapped in the middle of a raging storm, the disciples struggled against the howling wind and dashing waves. Desperately preoccupied, they did not initially notice a figure walking toward them. When the man finally approached the side of the boat, the disciples saw him illuminated by the glare of jagged lightning. Was it a ghost from the other side of death, come to claim their doomed souls? As they screamed in fear, Jesus consoled, "Don't be afraid! It's only Me!" (Matthew 14:27)
The command was, "Don't be afraid," and the proof was Christ standing there on the water. Surely that was enough, but here the story takes an unusual twist.
Having already identified Himself, Christ was ready to climb into the boat without asking His disciples to do anything. But suddenly, Peter puts Jesus to the test, "If You are really who You say You are... then command me to come out with You?" (Matthew 14:28) Motivated by unbelief, Peter put himself in extreme peril by questioning the authority of the Lord's word! But what was Christ to do? Peter was the one who set the parameters of the test by saying, "If you are really Jesus, then command me to 'Come.'"
Peter's attitude was similar to Satan's taunt in the wilderness, "If you are really the Son of God..." Maybe this is why Jesus rebuked Peter on one occasion, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." (Matthew 16:23) Regardless, in the midst of the storm, Jesus did not misrepresent His own identity by saying, "No, Peter! You stay where you are... and I'll come to you!" Undeniably, Jesus was who He was no matter if Peter failed to believe!
By the man's admission "Lord," he confessed that the specter was actually Jesus. So, there was no need for Peter to leave the boat. However, the compulsive disciple was a lot like us, biting off more than God wants us to chew.
Nevertheless, the doubtful question was made to the Master, "If it is you," and it truly was, so the human challenge automatically followed, "Tell me to step out on the water."
Although it was NOT Christ's original intent for Peter to leave the boat, yet Jesus answered, "Come!"
Painting himself into a corner, St. Peter was not playing with fire as much as he was tampering with the flood. Either way, the man set a trap for himself by simply not accepting Jesus' words, "Don't be afraid! It's only Me!"
Blundering onto the boisterous waves, it seemed that Peter might initially succeed in copying Jesus! However, due to his lack of faith from the very beginning, the man was immediately out of his element. Very soon, the doubting disciple was way over his head!
Reaching down in the water to save the foolish man, Jesus scolded, "You have so little faith! Why didn't you just believe Me?"
The issue was not Peter's failure to walk on the water but rather the man's weakness in questioning the assurance of Christ's words, "Don't be afraid! Take courage. I am here!"
Sadly, we also get ourselves in deep trouble after neglecting to believe God's steadfast promise, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you!" (Hebrews 13:5)