Walking on Water
Matthew 14:22-32; Mark 6:45-51; John 6:16-21; The Desire of Ages, pp. 377-382
By keeping our eyes on Jesus, we are saved.
“What is impossible with man is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).
Do you know how to swim? Can you stay on top of the water? A long time ago Jesus and Peter were both on top of the water, but they weren’t swimming! Let’s read on to find out what happened.
The disciples were in a boat together sailing along the sea of Galilee. They had spent the day with Jesus and had seen him do something amazing. He had taken five loaves and two fish and used it to feed more than 5,000 people! How they wished Jesus would let the people crown Him king! But at the end of the day, Jesus had sent the people home and to the disciples said, “Go ahead. Go across the lake in the boat.” Then Jesus had gone to a quiet place to pray.
Out on the lake, dark clouds began to gather. The wind whipped angry waves against the fishing boat. The experienced fishermen strained at the oars. They pulled harder and harder, but the storm was very strong.
The storm continued raging through the night. The wind pushed the waves higher and higher. By now the disciples were a considerable distance from the shore. Shortly before morning, but while it was still dark, Jesus saw them way out on the lake and decided to go to them.
Suddenly the disciples saw someone coming across the water toward them. They cried out in fear. “It’s a ghost!” they shouted. It frightened them to see a person coming toward them walking over the waves as if they were on solid ground!
“Don’t be afraid!” a familiar voice called. “It is I, Jesus!”
Then Peter called out, “If it’s really You, Lord, tell me to come to You on the water!”
“Come!” Jesus beckoned toward His eager and sometimes-reckless disciple. Looking at Jesus, Peter climbed out of the boat and began walking along on top of the water. He took several steps. Then he turned his eyes away from Jesus and looked back at the disciples. He may have been thinking, Hey! Look at me! Can you believe it?*
As he started to turn back toward Jesus, he saw the huge waves. He felt the strong winds. He became afraid, and he started to sink. Instantly Peter’s courage was gone. “Lord!” he shouted, “Save me!”
Even as Peter began to sink, the strong arm of Jesus reached out to him. Jesus grasped hold of his outstretched hand and lifted him up.
“You of little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt?” Jesus meant that Peter needed only to keep his eyes on Him. Peter needed to keep believing that Jesus had the power to save him. Jesus put His arm around Peter, and they climbed into the boat. Once Jesus was in the boat, the wind calmed and the waves relaxed. And the little fishing boat sailed quietly to the other side of the lake.
Today Jesus says to us, “Just keep your eyes on Me! I’m here to rescue you! You can’t do it by yourself, but don’t worry. I can save you! Just keep trusting Me.”