How incredulous it is to the human mind to have faith in something beyond oneself. On a stormy night, twelve men in a tiny fishing boat learn a lesson on faith. These men labored with their leader, Jesus Christ. A vast crowd of people followed Jesus to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. It was a chore to care for them. As the day ends, Jesus dismisses the crowds to go home. Once done, he tells his disciples to pile into the fishing boat and go home. The Lord tells them, He will see them later. Jesus needs a little alone time with God the Father. The evening turns to night, and the midnight hour is approaching. The Lord Jesus looks out, to the Sea of Galilee, and sees the raging storm hitting the area. In the light of a flash of lightning, Jesus sees His disciples, struggling in their boat. Jesus, with faith in His heart, decides to go to them. There is one problem facing Jesus, He has no boat. What does the Lord do? He decides to walk out to them. What, you say, Jesus walks on water? Yes, Jesus, walks on water! As the Lord walks on the dry land, so He walks on water. This is His first lesson of faith to us.
“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37 NKJV
He who created the water can walk on the water. Jesus, step by step, reaches the frightened men, fighting for survival amid heavy seas. In this boat twelve panicking men, see something, which turns their panic into fright. They see a man walking on water. They scream to one another, “No one can walk on water! It’s a ghost!” The Lord, seeing their angst, cries out to them in an assuring voice, “Hey guys, calm down it is me, Jesus.” The chatter in the boat of storm-tossed men is clear. There is an agreement among them. They all frighteningly proclaim, “That is not Jesus. It is a ghost.”
In this moment, the disciples have failed a lesson of faith. They have heard Jesus teach a startling fact about His voice.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27 NKJV
How long have these men been with Jesus? How many hours have they listened to His precious voice? The answer to both questions, is a lot! Nevertheless, in the valley of despair, they lost faith in the voice of Christ! We see this in Peter’s question to a being he thinks is a ghost.
“Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Matthew 14:28 NKJV
Peter shouts out a question of doubt, for an answer of clarity. Peter gets his answer. Jesus commands him to come. The eleven other men still don’t believe it is Jesus. However, Peter takes a step of faith and jumps out of the boat to walk to Jesus. He walks on the water amid an angry sea. His faith is triumphant over fear. Sadly, to report, his courageous faith begins to lose to his cowardly fear. His mind begins to access his situation.
“But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’” Matthew 14:30 NKJV
It seems strange, a big husky fisherman, who is an accomplished swimmer, becomes a drowning incapacitated person. Peter only had one path left to him for help. He realizes the men in the boat are too far away to save him. His only hope is the water-walking Christ. Therefore, he cries out, “Lord, save me!” How gracious God is to us who fail the lessons of faith. Thankfully, there is no darkness in God and in His Christ! He didn’t laugh at Peter and the other eleven. He didn’t walk on laughing and scorning them shouting to them to drown.
“And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him. And said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” Matthew 14:31 NKJV
The Savior saves Peter. However, there is a lesson, He gives to Peter. With Peter, firmly in the grasp of the carpenter from Nazareth, He said to Peter a critical word.
“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31
How incredulous it is to the human mind to have faith in something beyond oneself. This is a correction we all must make. Now, with Peter in tow, Jesus sets His attention to the other faithless men in the failing boat. They are still in peril of sinking, just like Peter.
“And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.” Matthew 14:32 NKJV
With Jesus in their midst, everything was made right once more. For a moment, their faith was made strong again.
“Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.’” Matthew 14:33 NKJV
How incredulous it is to the human mind to have faith in something beyond oneself. This is a problem for most of us. If you learned anything from the above story, it should be, Jesus does not like a doubting heart. The doubting heart is a prescription for Divine wrath. A faithless heart was the condemnation of Israel.
“But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.” Romans 9:31-32 NKJV
As Christians, all of us need to heed the warning of Hebrews 3:12.
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12 NKJV
If you are an unbeliever of Christ, heed this exhortation and Come to Him today.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”Hebrews 11:1-6 NKJV
Unbeliever: Please, please God today, finally receive Jesus, by faith, as your Savior!
Christians get back to walking by faith.
Guy Calandra Author-The Inside Word-