28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
Picture this, the Disciples all out on the water in a boat. They see Jesus walking across the water to them and Jesus calls out to them so they aren’t afraid. Peter gets out of the boat and walks on water too, but, sinks quickly as doubt comes in his mind. Now, many have heard sermons and Sunday school lessons speaking of how this shows we have to keep our eyes on Jesus, and while that is true, I want to go a different route with this as there is a different lesson here.
I could poll many people in my audience out there, and ask how long you have been a professing Christian. Many would stand tall with their chests outward speaking of 10, 20, 30, or more years. So then if I ask you how often do you witness to people….actually going up to someone and sharing the Gospel message, I could probably hear the wind as you exhaled. I get all kinds of reasons for this ranging from “They see it in my life”, to “That’s other people’s jobs, not what I am called to do” and the list goes on. I want you to know, the Great Commission is for ALL of us and it says to preach the Gospel….which requires using words, out of your mouth. When I tell people this, and some of you might say this as well, they will answer with, “Well, I just am not familiar enough with the Bible to witness, I might answer wrong”.
This answer troubles me greatly. While it is entirely possible that I have an audience of people ranging from 13 to 70+ years old that receive this and are still in the 1st grade….I find it highly doubtful. You haven’t used that excuse in school, yet you have been a Christian all your life, or 5, 10, 20, years. What are you waiting on??? Get out of the boat!!!
When I look at the passage above, I see several points worth making. One is Peter’s boldness. He had never seen anyone walk on water, much less did it himself, but didn’t hesitate to go out to Jesus. He was focused on Jesus and at that time, whether he walked or sank didn’t matter. You’ve had a Bible in your possession longer than any text book from school or literature from your job, and you haven’t learned it? Put your eyes on Jesus and get out of the boat!!!
What happened next was he let a distraction come between him and the Lord. The high winds changed his focus, cast doubt, and he was his own defeat. That’s a lot like the excuse you might be using not to share the Gospel. You’ve made an excuse, one you’d never use anywhere else in life, and you’ve defeated yourself already. You can’t sink….you haven’t even gotten out of the boat! Put your eyes on Jesus, and get out of the boat!!!
The final point in this, when Peter saw He was in trouble, he knew there was only One capable of saving him. He didn’t try to save himself, he knew what was going on out in the sea was too troublesome for him. He couldn’t depend on his own work; he knew he had to depend on Jesus. That’s what happens to us. We want to go out without that dependence on Jesus to guide us, and we fail. When we fail, we often look to ourselves as a way to fix it, rather than to our source, Jesus Christ. Don’t make it about yourself and how smart, good, or knowledgeable you are; make it about your Creator and Saviour Jesus Christ. And get out of the boat!!!
In His Grace,
Mike Harris Jr.
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