Google+ 11/25/12 Me and Peter!

Matthew 14:26-31

 

When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified.

In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said.

“Take courage. I am here!”

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you,

Tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.

But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink.

“Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him.

“You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” 

 

This Scripture runs the gambit of everything that we struggle with as Christians.  First, the Scripture tells us that when Jesus came to the disciples, they didn't recognize Him at first.  I wonder if you have ever had that experience.  I know I have.  There is an act of desperation that occurs out of fear.  The disciples call Jesus a ghost.  The great news is that Jesus answers anyway with great reassurance.   Jesus tells the disciples to take courage and assures them that He is there for them.  Jesus does the same for us.  Unfortunately, far too often, we only call for Jesus when we are afraid or think we have seen a "ghost."  That should never be the case, but Jesus still responds in our greatest time of need and despair.   I must confess that I identify with Peter a lot!  Who else would hear Jesus say, "I am here and have courage" and then respond with a challenge to Jesus?  Peter asks the Lord of the Universe to prove His identity.  Peter wants to see His drivers license that says "King of Kings."  Are you kidding me?  Who does Peter think he is?  They say confession is good for the soul, so here I go.  Peter resembles me.  He is the guy in the front of the line who says what all the other disciples were probably thinking, and did not have the courage or intestinal fortitude to blurt out in front of Jesus.  So, what does Jesus do?  Does Jesus scold Peter?  Does Jesus cause lightening bolts to appear in front of Peter?  Of course not.  Jesus, very quietly, says to Peter, "Come."  Don't miss this point.  What if Peter was still screaming and missed the still small voice of his Savior?  What if panic and the voice of Satan was all he heard?  Peter redeems himself and crawls over the edge of the boat and walks on water.  Anybody amazed out there but me?  What blind faith came out of Peter who was the inquistor from the previous line of Scripture.  Then Jesus performs a miracle right there in the water.  Peter, who is not divine, does something he never dreamed he could do.  Peter walks on water.  Has Jesus ever presented you with something you thought was never possible, that you later accomplished?  Continuing my confession to all of you, Jesus has done that to me on numerous occasions.  Writing these daily devotions is but just one example of the power of faith and obedience.  So, all is well now, right?   No.  Peter takes his eyes off of Jesus because of the worldly distraction of the storm.  Jesus has performed a miracle in Peter's life and Peter can't keep his eyes on the target.  He is distracted and becomes terrified. Peter screams for help.  The Scripture tells us that Jesus immediately reaches out and grabs Peter and saves him.  Only after Jesus saves him, does Jesus then teach him.  He tells him that he has so little faith and asks why Peter doubted Jesus at all.  Peter never answers Jesus.  It just says that when the storm was over, all the disciples worshipped Him and proclaimed Jesus as the son of God.  The reason Peter didn't answer is because the answer is too revealing.  My answer and Peter's would be the same.  We would try to explain why we are so weak and vulnerable to the outside forces of the world.  We would make lame excuses.  That explanation would come back to a central point of Christianity.  Do we have true faith?  Jesus told Peter he had so little.  Sometimes, Jesus tells me the same thing.  When you are faced with your next "ghost" and you cry out to Jesus, listen to Him say, "Come."  As Jesus proves who He is over and over again to us, let's arrive at a different place than Peter.  Let's have much faith.  Let's say yes to Jesus.  Let's believe Jesus is who He says He is, without visible proof.  In short, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and expect miracles.  How many miracles have we missed while we were terrified?  I have developed true faith because I don't intend to miss anymore miracles!