Jesus walks on water - How can I tell if my faith is strong?
In three of the gospels, we find a record of the time Jesus walks on water.
The context of these passages is the fact that the disciples were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee and a wind blew up. This incident followed the feeding of the five thousand and Jesus had gone alone to pray and sent the disciples ahead in the boat. Then in the middle of the windstorm Jesus walks on the water out to the boat. When the disciples see Him, at first they think it is a ghost and Jesus speaks peace to them. "When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. 'It's a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.' 'Lord, if it's you,' Peter replied, 'tell me to come to you on the water.' 'Come,' he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!' Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'"
- Matthew 14:25 says, "During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake."
Mark 6:48 says, "He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them."
John 6:19 says, "When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified."
Why did Peter sink? He saw Jesus walk on the water and as long as Peter kept his eyes on the LORD, Peter stayed afloat. It was when Peter got his eyes off of the LORD and on to the waves beneath him that he sank. The lesson for the believer here is that our faith must be rooted in Christ and we must not allow ourselves to be distracted by life's circumstances. Doubt is not the absence of faith it is a test of faith. Peter had faith to step out but he did not count the cost and he "looked down." It was only then that Peter began to falter and sink. Yet, the hand of grace pulled Peter to safety.
There is a great lesson of faith in this passage of Scripture where Jesus walks on the water. First, it is that Jesus has control over the situation. The wind and turmoil of the waves obeyed Him. As born again believers, if we keep our eyes on the LORD rather than the situation that threatens to engulf us, we too can walk through the waves with confidence in Christ's ability to bring us peace in the middle of what ever storm is raging over our lives. There is nothing that we can face as born again believers that is outside of God's control (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Another great lesson here is that Christ's hand is always extended to the lost. When by faith one reaches out to the LORD for salvation, grace lifts that one out of the sinking waves of sin. Jesus walks on water is a principle that the invisible realities of faith in Christ are victorious over the visible threats of this world, regardless of the form they may take.
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