[Aside: I know the four Gospels often tell the same story and most of the time I would do that cross referencing just to get all the angles. I have been sticking to just what John wrote during this project and was perfectly fine with that. Sometimes it can be tricky to match up different accounts of the same story because they can seem contradictory. Each writer puts in what is important to him and leaves out other things – it’s like the six blind men describing an elephant – each has his own perspective and you have to put them all together to get the best picture!]
So with this twist thrown in –
When it was evening, Jesus told the boys to go on home – he would come later. Google tells me it was 8 miles across the lake so it might take a while. I don’t know how they thought Jesus was going to get back but maybe this wasn’t a big issue.
Some of the disciples were fishermen and they were from around this area. They probably felt pretty confident about crossing the lake. They may have even been aware that it could be stormy. But they were now smack in the middle of the lake and it was getting darker and… I mean, can you even see where you’re going? And then they see this figure coming at them…walking on top of the water? What is that? A ghost? They were frightened is a little mild– I like Matthew’s version here: “They were terrified!” It must have been chaos!
Then Jesus speaks, “It is I; do not be afraid.” John says, “They were glad to take him into the boat.” Glad? I’ll bet. How about exultant, elated, euphoric or ecstatic? How about relieved? So relieved they were instantly across and on the other side.
John skips this other little tidbit but Matthew was there too and he remembers. There must have plenty of stories about Peter – he was just that kind of guy. So Peter says, “Lord, if it is you…” I mean really, if you weren’t sure would you finish the sentence? To be fair this is exactly me. Jesus says “It’s me. I’m in this” and I say “are you sure?”
Peter is thinking out of the box here. Who in their right mind would even contemplate walking on the water? I get that God can do it but surely not me. “Command me to come” is interesting. Peter had a clue this only had a chance if it was Jesus’ doing.
Now here is what wild abandon looks like – the guys seems nuts. But Jesus says, “You’re on!” And Peter steps out of the boat and does it! Get out of Dodge! Can you imagine? Yeah, I know. It’s a short trip and he needs a rescue – he falters; he gets distracted; he’s human. But can you imagine the reality of the success part? My heart is beating fast just thinking about it. What would it feel like to step out in the middle of the night, in the middle of the sea, in the middle of a storm and just “walk on water with Jesus?” Oh and did I mention it is possible? Extreme sports look like knitting by comparison!
It is no wonder the disciples worshiped Him by saying “Truly You are the Son of God.” That’s worship pure and simple just acknowledging Jesus is who He claims to be.
He is the cure for all fear, the solution to every dilemma, the “yes you can” to every question for the one who is willing to come to Him.
I want to believe anything is possible if Jesus calls me (big or little) and even if it is crazy. Lord, help my unbelief.
About the world?
When someone steps out on Jesus’ command, God gets the glory. The return could be someone saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”