Thursday, March 6, 2014
March 6: Walking on the water
As the night was ending, Jesus came to them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the water they were terrified and said, “It’s a ghost!” and cried out with fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them: “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” Peter said to him, “Lord, if it is you, order me to come to you on the water.” So he said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind he became afraid. And starting to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt.” (Matthew 14:25-31 NET)
An interesting side note to this passage is the fact that Jesus and His disciples had been busy the day before—healing, teaching, and feeding a multitude—and then were up all night traveling to the other side of the lake. In other versions of the Bible it says that this scene happened during the fourth watch, which would have been between 3 and 6 in the morning. This goes to show how driven and willing to sacrifice Jesus and His disciples were; Jesus wanted to save souls and knew that time was of the essence, and so He pushed Himself late into the night.
Many people pulled all-nighters of drinking and dancing in the past when they did not know God, but now that they’ve found Him, the idea of spending the whole night in a prayer vigil (an all night service) seeking the Holy Spirit and God’s blessing sounds utterly ridiculous. If this is the case with you, how is that fair? How can we be content to give the devil more than we give to God. How can we be courageous for the devil but not for God. We should be ready to give God much more than we ever gave to the devil.
The incident of Jesus walking on the water and inviting Peter to do the same is an analogy for life. Isn’t this what we should be doing on a daily basis? God calls us to believe that He will enable us to do what could never normally be done. When we focus on Him, and trust in His Word, we will be able to walk on the water, but when we take our eyes off of Him, look at the winds and the waves, at how impossible it is to do what we are doing, we will sink. No matter how strong you are, you cannot overcome when you focus on the negative, on your problems. This destroys the strongest among us. Yes, the winds and the waves are there, but if we want to overcome, we have to focus on Jesus and His promises. This is not foolishness, it is faith.