Read Matthew 14:22-36

The Sea of Galilee is the most beautiful body of water I’ve ever seen. On a clear day, its blue waters are stunning and clear. At night you can shine a flashlight into the Sea and see fish teeming in its waters.

But this small lake, seven miles wide by 15 miles long, can be extremely dangerous. Storm fronts move quickly across the Galilean hills. Northwest of the Sea are the Cliffs of Arbel, jagged mountains which form a natural wind tunnel. Gale-force storms can suddenly sweep from land over water, threatening to capsize everything in their path.

So it was on the night Jesus sent his disciples across the Sea while he climbed a nearby mountain to pray. Soon their boat was “buffeted by the waves, because the wind was against it” (v. 24). “Buffeted” translates a Greek word which means to be “tortured.”

Then, “during the fourth watch of the night,” 3 a.m., “Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake” (v. 25). Don’t rush past Matthew’s statement. For the first time in human history, a man walked on a storm-tossed sea. Jesus’ disciples, most of them veteran fishermen, cried out in fear.

Then our Lord made an astounding statement: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “It is I” is literally, “I Am,” God’s personal name for himself (Exodus 3:14). Peter then began walking on the water to him. But “when he saw the wind,” turning his eyes from Jesus to his circumstances, he began to sink. He then cried the shortest prayer in Scripture: “Lord, save me!” The original language says simply, “Lord, save!” And Jesus did.

The other disciples witnessed Jesus’ miraculous power, but Peter experienced it personally. Why take a risk for Jesus? Because to walk on water, you must first get out of the boat.

For reflection
What storms have found you today? What “boats” are you tempted to trust? What would it mean for you to walk on the water to your King?


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