Defying Gravity, Mt. 14:23-33, Mk. 6:47-52, Jn. 6:16-21

Jesus came walking towards His disciples on the sea. When His disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying “Its a ghost.” But Jesus spoke to them “Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid.” Peter answered Him “Lord if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Jesus told Him “come”, and Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened and beginning to sink he cried out to Jesus to save him. Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught him, saying to him “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped Him, saying “Truly You are the Son of God.” 

What do you think would have happened, when Peter saw the waves and felt the water push him, if he would have not feared & doubted, and just remained standing still? The lake of Galilee is at least 140ft deep, and they were 3 or 4 miles off shore! Where the eyes of his heart were focused, was more important than where his feet were or what they were doing, Ephesians 1:17-18.

 The point of this miracle is to teach us how hard it is to walk spiritually with God, when storms hit us. The New Testament is used by God to teach us to keep walking and when the storms of life get fierce, we must STAND, Ephesians 6:10-18. But for most of our life as a Christian, we are to walk in newness of life, Romans 6:4. Walk by the rule that only a new creation counts for anything, Galatians 6:15-16. Walk in the good works God prepared for you, Ephesians 2:10. Walk in His love & light, Ephesians 5:2-8. Walk in wisdom, Colossians 4:5. Walk with him as a divine guest in the Spirit, Galatians 5:16-25. This is the second type of miracle, which Jesus uses to emphasize the necessity of “walking”. Firstly, he used the healing of the lame & paralyzed to restore strength for walking. Now he uses Peter’s faith to walk in impossible circumstances. There seems to be no doubt in anyone’s mind, that Peter was an experienced fisherman and of course a decent swimmer. But when it came to walking on water, he was totally clueless. So he put his faith in the powerful voice of Christ that said “COME”, (Mat. 14:29 & Job 37:5) stepped out of the boat & WALKED!  Sadly, within moments Peter put his eyes on the stormy waves and started sinking. Such is our common experience in getting distracted with problems in the world, throwing us off focus and away from the powerful word of God which is alive and used by God’s Spirit in the Bible. We must learn, believe and remember that storms in life are temporary, and God’s word is permanent! Walk with a determined faith in the Father’s love. He will catch us when we fall, IF we will pray in faith!

The testimony of everyone in the boat proclaiming Jesus to be the “Son of God” is Jesus proving to everyone in the boat, that he was in control of their whole world. John’s gospel doesn’t mention Peter’s steps on water and then sinking, John simply states that the disciples knew Jesus moved the boat instantly to the shore from 3 or 4 miles out. The Lake of Galilee is 13 miles long, and 8 miles wide, so to get to the shore “immediately” is impossible without some external force like Jesus commanding it to move. All of them were experienced fisherman, so they know how boats, water and the wind can and can not assist travel. John himself, in writing this, was an experienced fisherman, being the son of Zebedee, so he knew very well how far and how quick the boat traveled. The disciples were mainly interested in helping Jesus get into the boat, but they learnt Jesus was more interested in getting them to the shore! That is what Jesus wants for you and I. Getting us home is his goal. We can’t do God’s work in and all by our self, we need his assistance to stand, to walk and to end up on the shore, with Him! It was not only Peter, that Jesus helped defy gravity, but the entire boat. As Christians, we must stay in the boat, just like Noah & Paul instructs us. See the story in Acts 27:19-31.

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