In this ‘episode’, I would like to discuss the story of Jesus walking on water. There are a couple of things that, I believe, most people overlook and, of course, I have my own interpretations which may be humorous to some and not so humorous to others. So again, please read this knowing I mean no offense. I simply read the Bible in a more unconventional manner and allow my personality/sense of humor to add flavor here and there. That being said, let us begin.
The passage is a bit lengthy, so I am not going to list all of it in this post. Here is a link to it. Now, as you read the first few verses (Matthew 14: 22-25), one thing that jumps out to me is the amount of time that passes between Jesus telling His disciples to go on without Him and them seeing Jesus walking towards them on the water. How big was that lake??? The disciples had been sailing…or oaring…for hours! Furthermore, how fast was Jesus walking?? Usain Bolt has got nothing on Jesus, boy!!!
The next verse (Matthew 14:26) is interesting to me. As we read the verse, one version (King James) says they were “troubled” and another (New International) says they were “terrified”. They thought Jesus was a ghost and that they “cried out for fear”. When I initially read this, I did not think much of it. I pictured the disciples in the boat and Jesus walking towards them from a third party point of view. Let’s take a moment and think about the two parties involved and what their points of view might have been.
From Jesus’ point of view, He sees the boat being tossed around by the waves. As he gets closer, he hears the disciples screaming and, probably sees them pointing at him while doing so. On a side note, do you think the waves were affecting Jesus as well? Was He like the Hollywood bad asses who walk away not looking at explosions….just chillin while the waves lifted him up and set him down? Just a thought…
From the disciples point of view, they see darkness….it was “shortly before dawn”. Then someone must have spotted this figure that looks like a dude walking on water. Now, most of the disciples were fishermen. The only way that a dude could walk on water was if that dude was no dude, but a “ghost”. Of course, they were terrified. I know I would be.
The rest of the passage is where it gets really interesting and where most of us may miss the moral of the story. Jesus tries to calm them down by telling them that it is Him. Then Peter asks Jesus to prove it by telling him to come. Now, on another side note, how do you think Jesus took that request? In my mind, it was something along the lines of….um…okaaaay….well….it is ME sooooo…..Come. Remember that Peter was a fisherman. So, for him to ask Jesus this went against everything he knew about the water and how impossible it was for water to hold him up. He begins walking towards Jesus and then verse 30 says, “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”” Notice it does not say he sank. I’ll let you interpret what that means for yourself. In my mind, a couple of things rings in there…
- Why do we always wait until we are sinking to cry for help?
- Even when we are sinking, God will hold us up. (See Isaiah 41:10)
I know this is long, but the next part is essential. If you have read this far, thank you!
Verse 31 says, “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.” Did you miss it? IMMEDIATELY!!! What does that mean? That means that Peter was within arms reach of Jesus! He was one step away from obtaining his goal and he let his situation, the wind around him, cause him to fail. How many times have we been moving towards a goal and let our situation cause us to give up? What if we were only one step away from obtaining it? I’ll let you think about that. What wind in your life is causing you to not reach your goal?
As always, I would love to hear your take on this. Please leave a comment, if you are so inclined.
Have a great day!
Jonathan Hart MA, LPC, NCC