The seas were rough and the wind was blowing. The disciples were by themselves in the boat; Jesus had stayed behind to pray alone. It was dark. A form could be seen walking on the water towards the boat. Can you imagine the fear?
Jesus told them to be at peace. It was only Him. Peter then said, “If it’s really you, Lord, bid me to come out of the boat and walk to you.” Jesus bid him to come. Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water…until he felt the wind. He got scared, started to sink and Jesus had to pull him back up.
I can’t remember ever hearing anything about this story except for Peter losing faith and sinking. Somehow I am no longer seeing that. I’m looking at Peter with whole new eyes. Forget the fear factor…did anybody else get out of the boat and walk on water? Nope.
Sinful Man: At first Peter didn’t want to follow Jesus. He declared himself a sinful man. Jesus still bade him come. This has meaning for us. We’re all sinful creatures. We don’t always mean to be, but there are times when we fudge the truth a little or otherwise bend/break the rules. Jesus still bids us come.
Chastised: It often seems to me that Peter was the most chastised disciple. He didn’t want Jesus to die. He cut off the priest’s servant’s ear. He didn’t want Jesus to wash his feet and then asked to have the rest of himself washed. He was always getting into trouble. Jesus was patient with him.
We’re also chastised. Maybe I’m alone in this, but God points out where I am making mistakes. It’s often embarrassing, even if it is only between the two of us. I don’t always want to do what God wants me to do. Jesus is patient with me.
Denial: Peter couldn’t see a time when he’d ever deny Jesus. When Jesus told him that it would happen, he didn’t believe it. However, Jesus also gave Peter instructions on what to do afterwards. That’s putting a lot of trust into someone you know is going to deny you. Jesus still trusted Peter.
Denial isn’t just words. It’s also actions. When we turn away from someone because it’s inconvenient to help them, we are refusing to help Jesus. “Whatever you do not do unto the least of these, My brethren, you have not done unto me.” Jesus still trusts us.
The Rock: Peter was the rock on which Jesus built the church. After the Resurrection and Jesus orders to Peter and the rest of the disciples, Peter seemed to change. He was no longer the impetuous, rush in and act (rashly) disciple. He was the Apostle Peter.
This change can happen to us. We have to choose to get out of the boat and walk on the water. We have to ask for forgiveness when we do the wrong things…and then we have to forgive ourselves. We have to change just as Peter did. Why? Because Jesus bids us come, He is patient with us, He trusts us and He forgives us. More importantly, we have to become some of the rocks that build His church.