Last night, our pastor preached from Matthew 14, where Jesus walks on the water out to the boat full of disciples in the middle of a storm. It’s one of my favorite stories. Four of those twelve guys were fishermen and had no doubt seen their share of storms on the Sea of Galilee. The other eight, however, were complete landlubbers and probably didn’t even know how to swim. Now imagine being terrified, seasick, cold and wet. It’s somewhere between three and six o’clock in the morning, you see a … man (?) Jesus (?) walking (?) out to you. Then he says something completely crazy. “Be of good cheer! I AM; do not be afraid.” Yeah right. Be of good cheer? If the disciples weren’t so miserable they would’ve caught what Jesus said to them – I AM. In English, it gets translated,”It is I”, but in the original, Jesus says the same words God said to Moses. This was HUGE. I AM [JEHOVAH].
Then Peter does the unthinkable. “Lord, if that’s really You, call me out there on the water with You.” And Jesus did. Then Peter did. Imagine sitting in that boat, listening to this exchange. Peter wants to go OUT of the boat. We’re about to drown IN the boat. Why would he want OUT?
Because Peter got it. There’s a storm. It’s beyond what I can handle. My own ideas of what’s safe and secure (the boat)are failing me. I want to be where Jesus is. It’s calm where Jesus is. That’s where peace and safety is. I’m not gonna wait for Him to come to my boat. I’m going to Him.
And Peter walked on water. Sure, he sank after a little bit, and Jesus had to grab him, but what about the nameless guys in the boat? What about the “they”, and “them” who sat and watched it all? They all worshipped Jesus when He got in the boat, but Peter worshipped Him before that. Jesus didn’t have to calm the storm before Peter knew Jesus was God.
So many times, I’m a “they” hiding out in the back of the boat, trying to handle things the best way I know how, never admitting that my boat is taking on water. Jesus has already said, “I’m here.” How much longer am I gonna stay cold and wet, tired and scared, before I realize I need to be where Jesus is? How long before I get out of the boat?