To Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat

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Picture of Jesus helping Peter walk on water.

Today’s Bible reading* includes the story of when Peter tried to walk on water, but began to sin because of his weak faith. It’s interesting that three of the four Gospels record Jesus walking on water, but only Matthew records Peter attempting it. (Matthew 14:28–32)

What’s particularly interesting is that tradition tells us that Mark wrote his Gospel based on what Peter told him. Mark doesn’t even mention Peter’s attempt to walk on water.

Perhaps Peter was too embarrassed by the situation. Or perhaps Peter didn’t think much of it in hindsight. Or perhaps Peter felt that by telling the story, it might take away credit for the One Who called out to him, inviting him to join him walking on the water.

Application

We often compare ourselves with other people. We compare the way we look. We compare our politics. We compare how many social media followers we have. We compare what church we go to. And we compare ourselves to Jesus’ Disciples, thinking that we’re somehow superior to them because we see things about Jesus that they didn’t.

Surely we wouldn’t have been afraid of the storm. Surely we would have not been afraid to see Jesus walk on water. Surely we wouldn’t have been terrified enough to sink when attempting to walk on water when Jesus invited us. No, we’re too proud to admit that we, too would have trembled in fear.

It’s really easy for us to knock Peter for his weak faith. But don’t miss the point that Peter was the only one of Jesus’ Disciples who got out of the boat! Peter may have had “little faith”, but evidently, he had more faith than any of the other Disciples.

Sure, Peter began to sink when he looked around and saw the strength of the storm. But he (literally) stepped out in faith, tried to walk on water, and called out to Jesus when he began to sink.

When we compare ourselves with Peter in this story, we forget that we’ve never tried to walk on water. We all have room to grow in our faith.

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
Matthew 10
Matthew 14
Mark 6:7-56
Luke 9:1-17
John 6


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