I would like to share my personal reflection on Matthew 14: 22-36. This is one of the famous stories we all know from the bible – “Jesus Walks On Water.” (I encourage all of you to read the whole chapter 14 of this book.)
The story began with the report that John the baptist was beheaded. When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. Perhaps, he was sad about the news. But unsuccessfully–someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity, he was filled with compassion and healed their sick. All of it: Cough, flu, boils, leprosy, cancer, blind eyes, crippled people, back pain, sore eyes, bungang araw (haha!), etc. Yes, all of it. Name it, He healed it! Boom!
After that healing ministry, Jesus then performed another miracle. He had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation. They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night. Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. 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.
But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.”
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!” Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand.
Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?” 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!”
Awesome! In a stunning fulfillment of the story, Jesus, a real flesh-and-blood Man, comes walking on top of the stormy seas. What’s more awesome here is that He invites Peter to come and join Him. I wish i could share exactly the overwhelming feeling i have in my heart upon creating this blog. What if it was me? I wish it was me. Haha! Anyways, we have read this story many times & interpreted it (accurately) in a spiritual sense, but it really happened! Jesus was really out there walking on water, dancing with the waves. It sound impossible! It was impossible, but it happened! And then Peter really said, in time and space, during the fourth watch of the night (between 3:00 and 6:00 AM), “Lord, if it’s really you, ask me to walk on water!”
I ask God a lot of questions upon reading this story again. I’ve also wondered why the time of day is included in some of the stories. It seems incidental, but i believe it’s because God is telling us that these incredible encounters happened in real time during a real storm in a real night, with real water and the real possibility of disaster.
Jesus loves Peter’s request, and answers him without hesitation: “Come!” Imagine the scream in Peter’s heart. “OH NO! He’s calling my bluff!” We can hardly imagine the moment. But he went for it. He dared, if only for a moment, to dance upon his fears, and the Bridegroom’s heart was thrilled. Even though Peter lost his focus, even though he began to sink, the Lord was there, and that’s the whole point! When the King invites us to come, we can presume upon His power to save. Jesus statement about Peter’s “little faith” is not so much of a rebuke as it is the affectionate and playful response of a fatherly Bridegroom whose heart is absolutely exhilarated at the willingness of His child-friend to dare to trust Him. Far from being critical of Peter, I believe Jesus is saying “O Peter! If you only knew what’s possible! Trust me, and i will take you through places and events you even dreamed of, for with me all things are possible.”
Most of the time we picture Jesus as so kind and so gentle towards our mistake that we think He is not able to go where we are or meet us in our own shortcomings. God is not afraid to go where we are. When we are in doubt, God can go and meet us in that place of doubt, and still love us just the same. When we are crippled by fear, God can come infuse courage to rise up within you. When we are in the grip of our compromises, Jesus can reach out His hands and still embrace us. Our God is greater. All things are possible. Our God is stronger. Jesus is a warrior, His love fights back over what really matters to Him – YOU!
So get out of the boat and walk on water. Get out of your comfort zones and draw near to Jesus in obedience & faith.
“O Sovereign King! O, Majestic Lord of all things! I long to dare to run with You! I long to for the courage of the leap of faith, the joy of the victorious dance upon the stormy waves, upon the mountains and hills of my fears. Call me again, Lord! Don’t give up on me! Sooner or later, i will trust You more!”
I Am Wholehearted Right Now!