Are you Walking or Sinking?

I would like to start off this devotional by sharing a passage in the Bible where Jesus decides to walk on water. In Matthew 14:22-33 it says, "Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd. After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. Later that night, He was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from the land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, 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. Do not 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'? And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God'."

Most of us have heard this story many times, right? Well I like to point out and find interesting things about passages, and dig a little deeper into its meaning. I want to point out what's going on before they got into the boat though. Do you realize Jesus was being followed by five thousand people so they could get a glance of Him, or an opportunity to hear Him speak, or ask Him to heal their sick family members? Jesus knew it was getting late in the day, but He also saw these people did not care about that. Jesus was willing to spend time with them as well as heal some of the sick. The disciples were telling Jesus to dismiss them so they could get food at the local market, or shelter for the evening. However, Jesus saw another opportunity to show his disciples the power of his love for others, and just who He was. With only two fish, and five loaves of bread, Jesus fed them all until they were full.

So let me ask you; would you have believed that only the Son of God could do what he just did? Well, the disciples did not, and they just witnessed a miracle take place.
So let us move on with the story. Jesus sees the disciples in the boat struggling against the wind and waves, and begins to start walking on the water towards the boat. Jesus allowed this storm to happen so he could once more show them who he was. Their hearts were hardened when they saw Jesus perform the miracle of the 5,000, but Jesus again felt the need to test their faith once more. At this time they see what they think is a ghost. They are scared to death. 

Jesus tells them not to be afraid, for it is "I", Jesus. Peter is in such awe that he tells Jesus to call him out of the boat so he too can walk on water. Can you even imagine seeing this, much less being invited to join in on His miracle? Have you ever witnessed a miracle of Jesus? Have you ever been invited to join Jesus in doing a miracle?

In closing, my last observation from this story was when Peter began to sink because he was afraid. Do you feel like this was a pretty important event that had just taken place where Peter was just seen walking on water? Have you ever read Mark's account of the story? Mark 6:47-52. (please read it real quick for I'm being lazy and don't want to type it all so as to keep this devotional as short as possible. :) Did you notice anything different ? If not, read it again! Compare it to Matthew's account above.

I thought this was incredible. I never really thought about it, or noticed that Mark does not mention Peter ever walking on water. How is this even possible? Well some believe maybe Peter did not give his account to Mark because he was embarrassed at what had just happened. We all think it was pretty cool, but losing your faith, and showing your scared is not something to brag about. I would like to mention though, the others didn't jump out of the boat, or get the opportunity to walk on water. That to me is pretty cool! Showing our faith is not always easy to do, but the reward could be just amazing! 

I titled this devotional, "Are you Walking, or Sinking", because of Matthew's account of Peter walking on water. To be honest, I found this story just a little more exciting, and full of things to discuss. I love how Peter asked Jesus to call him out of the boat to show this miracle. I love how Peter was so excited to do something he has never done before. And I love the fact when we are distracted from Jesus for a short time, Jesus reaches down and lifts us up. Over the years I have heard so many variations of this incredible story. I think every story that a Pastor comes up with are unique in its own way. For me, I just want you to see the two differences, come to your own conclusions based upon what the scriptures really say, and take to heart of the true meaning why Jesus went out there in the first place. In both stories though, Jesus' purpose was to show them once more he was in control, and he was the Son of God.

God bless, and be willing to get out of the boat! 

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