28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
A number of years ago a book was written titled “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat.” The author based his subject matter on this event of Peter walking on the water. The problem is the author focused his attention and his readers on Peter and not on Christ. As Jesus is coming close to the boat the disciples had all been working hard to fight a storm to get to the other side of the lake where they had been told to go earlier by Jesus. Peter was not looking for an adventure at this time, he was not thinking how great it would be to walk on the water, he was not looking to fulfill a lifelong dream; none of these things are true of him. No, Jesus came walking on the water and Peter wanted to know that this man was really the Messiah so he calls out to Christ to command him to come to Jesus on the water. Jesus says come, so Peter on the promise of the Word of Christ gets out of the boat and begins to walk with Jesus. But, he begins to take his eyes off of Jesus and doubts the promise that Jesus had given him. The power Peter had to walk on the water was not found in him, but in the promised Word of Christ. Peter doubted that Word and failed to look to Christ. When Jesus saved Peter from his doubt they both got into the boat and the wind ceased. Notice the reaction of those in the boat, they were not thinking about Peter’s “faith” or how awesome it would have been to walk on the water, or about their lack of courage in not getting out of the boat, no their attention and response was about Jesus as they had come to realize that Jesus is the Son of God. You see passages like these are not given to us to emulate the so called audacious faith of the disciples, but to make Christ glorious as God who became a man. When we focus our attention on Peter we make the passage about us which distorts the very purpose of the Bible, which is about Jesus. Notice also, when we put the attention on Peter we talk about his great faith to walk on water, or put in other words, we talk about his faith to “do” something, but notice the attention is not about Peter doing something, but believing – believing in the spoken Word of Jesus. This is true for us today – God is calling us to have faith in Christ to believe in the promise of salvation that he spoke – “all who believe in me I will give eternal life.” My friends, look to Jesus, believe in his promises, and see him in all the Scriptures.