Jesus Walks on Water
Monday, April 1
Prepared by Care Crawford
READ Mathew 21: 13–17
It is not lost on me that today is April First, April Fool’s day: a day to play verbal pranks or offer a trick with the chorus, “April Fools!” to follow.
Have you heard the expression, “be a fool for Christ” ? What kind of fool are you?
Some might read this story from Matthew’s Gospel and think Peter a fool! Nothing made sense about him stepping out of a boat in the middle of the sea, with a storm a brew. And yet, Peter listened to the invitation of Jesus, and out of his love for Him, he walked on water…until!
Read the Scripture again here, from Eugene Peterson’s The Message:
“As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night.
Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. ‘A ghost!’ they said, crying out in terror.
But Jesus was quick to comfort them. ‘Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.’
Peter, suddenly bold, said, ‘Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.’
He said, ‘Come ahead.’
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, ‘Master, save me!’
Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, ‘Faint-heart, what got into you?’
The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, ‘This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!’”
A few things strike me. One is that Jesus knew His need, and took into His own practice, a spiritual discipline. He went away, the practice of solitude, and on His own in silence with His father, He prayed. Simply here, Jesus models something very important for us. What are the rhythms of your life for your own journey to be with Jesus? What are you spiritual practices?
I am also struck with the words of Jesus “courage, it is Me. Don’t be afraid.” Like the messengers of angels who came to Mary and others in the Christmas story, we hear throughout the Scriptures the words, “Don’t be afraid” For Peter the circumstances around him, the boat, the storm, the sea makes it seem obvious that fear might overtake him. Yet Jesus invites Peter to come. He invites him to step out of what is comfortable and safe, to journey into something extraordinary and new. How does the Lord do that for you today? What is your response? Against all odds, Peter knew what author and Pastor John Ortberg titles one of his books, “If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat!”
You may wonder today how to hear God’s voice speaking specifically to you. You may wonder even with the law of gravity, how Peter walked on water. And we can see what happens when Peter takes his eyes off Jesus. He begins to go down.
How are your eyes fixed on Jesus in the circumstances of your life right now? Can you trust His personal invitation to you “take courage, take to heart COME!”?
That invitation, to come, to come to Jesus for rest, and renewal, for hope and new beginnings, is ever before us. How will you respond?
Each day for the rest of this week I have placed a poem and a question for your consideration on this text.
A Word from Jesus calms the sea,
The stormy wind controls;
And gives repose and liberty
To tempest-tossed souls.
To Peter on the waves he came,
And gave him instant peace;
Thus he to me revealed his name,
And bid my sorrows cease.
Then filled with wonder, joy and love,
Peter’s request was mine;
Lord, call me down, I long to prove
That I am wholly thine.
Unmoved at all I have to meet
On life’s tempestuous sea;
Hard, shall be easy; bitter, sweet,
So I may follow thee.
He heard and smiled, and bid me try,
I eagerly obeyed;
But when from him I turned my eye,
How was my soul dismayed!
The storm increased on every side,
I felt my spirit shrink;
And soon, with Peter, loud I cried,
Lord, save me, or I sink.
Kindly he caught me by the hand,
And said, Why dost thou fear?
Since thou art come at my command,
And I am always near.
Upon my promise rest thy hope,
And keep my love in view;
I stand engaged to hold thee up,
And guide thee safely through.
John Newton (24 July 1725–21 December 1807 / London, England)
What do you fear? Can you name your fears? Can you bring them to God in prayer?
Walking on water!
Wind in my face
Gold as the sun fades
Brown as rock
As the water splash.
The storm approaches
No fear to appear
Many a storm
Face to face.
I see the face
Straining to see
Imagination to calm
A storm to face.
On the wave
This is not real
Not only a face
But a man to appear.
Shock and fear
Color drains from my face
Grabbing the rope
Frozen to stare.
Be still and come
Walk! He spoke
Yes my Lord
Walking on water.
But …. Lord
Sink to the deep
Grabbed to safety
The Storm struck.
Be still He said
Silence at last
Who is this Man
Walking on Water.
Truly He must be
Yes, He is the One
Definitely the Savior
Save me from unbelief.
Think about your life and “storms” you have faced along the way. What has helped you through them? Who has been with you in the midst of them?
Walking on Water
Confidence is momentary, never permanent.
Get out of the boat.
Just do it.
Time for me to walk
on waves that reach out and back,
dip down and rush up.
Self talk builds sea legs, but
one word or look can weaken knees.
Fear washes over me and
drenches me in sweat.
First steps are always unsure.
Self-assurance, like the sea, cannot be controlled.
But there is no end without a beginning.
Carolynn J. Scully ©2016
Hope where we had ceased to hope.
Hope amid what threatens hope.
Hope with those who feed our hope.
Hope beyond what we had hoped.
Hope that draws us past our limits.
Hope that defies expectations.
Hope that questions what we have known.
Hope that makes a way where there is none.
Hope that takes us past our fear.
Hope that calls us into life.
Hope that holds us beyond death.
Hope that blesses those to come.
Jan Richardson, Circle of Grace
What is hope? For what do you hope? Where have you lost hope? How is Peter’s story a story of hope?