Bible reading plan Bible reading plan

Step Out Of The Boat

11 December 2022

The word 'doubt' with the 'ubt' crossed out

In Matthew 14-22-33, we read about an incredible encounter when, in the midst of a storm and with violent waves and fierce winds, Jesus walks on the water towards the boat in which the disciples are sailing across the Sea of Galilee.


Wow, Jesus actually walked on water!  Have you ever tried it yourself?  Pretty impossible, don’t you think?  Yet, here we have a clear recollection of the fact that Jesus achieved the impossible.  How amazing must that have been to see?  In fact, the gospels of Mark and John also both record the story of Jesus walking on the water, adding further credence to Matthew’s account.


But, amazing as it is to think of Jesus actually doing the impossible and walking on the water, Matthew's account takes the story a step further and tells of what happened next.  One of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, stepped out of the boat and also walked on the water, though with a lesser degree of success.


I’m not going to retell the whole story as you can read that for yourselves.  But remember that this happened immediately after Jesus had fed 5000 people with only five loaves of bread and two small fish.  Another ‘impossible’ task, I’m sure you’d agree?  Having just witnessed such an awesome event first hand, the disciples' faith must have been at an all time high.


So, what can we learn from Peter’s experience in this passage?


Peace is not found through the absence of the storm, but in the presence of Jesus.
Jesus did not calm the storm, but instead He invited Peter out into the storm and onto the rough waters.  Jesus never promised us that life would be all plain-sailing, but he did promise that he would always be with us.  We find our peace in His presence, even in the midst of a storm.


Faith requires that we step out of the boat.
Peter’s faith in Jesus is not in question.  He demonstrated his faith by stepping out of the boat when Jesus invited him to “Come.”  He could have chosen to stay in the relative comfort of the vessel but then he would never have experienced the thrill of actually walking on water.  Often, when we are in the midst of troubles, we need to take that step of faith and step out of our comfort zones and into the midst of the storm, in order to experience the fullness of God’s calling on our lives.  That is, after all, what faith is; stepping out into the unknown, putting our trust in the Lord.


Keep your focus on Jesus.
When Jesus rebuked Peter, saying, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” it was because, despite taking that initial step out of the boat, Peter took his focus off Jesus and onto the circumstances surrounding him.  It is so very easy to let the circumstances around us take our focus off Jesus and, when we do, those storms of life can quickly overcome us.  It is important that we keep our eyes firmly focussed on Jesus.  Only with him can we actually walk through the storms and into his glorious promises.


Our response to Jesus’ power should be to worship Him.
Ultimately this story is not about highlighting the weaknesses in Peter’s faith, but rather to glorify the power of Jesus.  When Jesus and Peter got back into the boat, the disciples gathered round and worshipped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

Our response to experiencing that power should be the same as that of the disciples.  It should bring us to a place of worship, acknowledging who He is and His greatness. 

So, what are the storms of life that you are facing at this time?  Do you need to step out of your comfort zone?  But don’t forget to always keep your focus on the Lord, rather than on the circumstances that surround you.  And most importantly, always acknowledge Jesus and His power, worship Him and thank Him for the things that He has done for you and will continue to do.  Through Him, all things are possible.

Photo of Simon Carter

Simon Carter
GoChurch Bradford