Jesus walks on water
“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to You on the water.”
After the feeding of the multitude (five thousand) with five loaves and two fishes, Jesus directed His disciples to get into the boat and to precede Him to the other side (Gennesaret). In the meantime, Jesus had dismissed the crowds and went off by Himself to the mountains to pray.
The disciples were already a few miles offshore when a storm had caused the boat to be tossed about. There was a strong wind and turbulent waves. In the midst of the storm, Jesus comes walking on water towards the boat. This frightens the disciples because they did not at first recognize it was Jesus walking on water. The disciples were terrified for they thought it was a ghost coming towards them. Jesus tries to calm them, saying: “Take courage, it is I;* do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27)
Peter believes it is Jesus and says: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to You on the water.” The Lord instructs Peter to come. Getting out of the boat, Peter begins to walk on water, until a strong wind frightened Peter and he begins to sink. Peter cried out: “O Lord, save me.” Immediately Jesus stretches forth His hand and rescues Peter. Jesus reproves Peter for his lack of faith: “O you of little faith,* why did you doubt?” As they reenter the boat, the wind calmed down and those in the boat acclaimed Jesus: “Truly, you are the Son of God.”
As in many other Gospel stories, the occurrence from ordinary life has also another deeper meaning or message. Not only was this a lesson to the disciples of the Lord at that time, His contemporaries, but also for us today and all generations. The Lord God is Omnipotent, All-Powerful. The storm that the Lord can calm is not only the one at sea, but that of our family or own spiritual life.
In Psalm 88 we read, “Lord God of hosts! Who is like You! You are omnipotent, O Lord, and Your truth is all around You. You have dominion over the power of the sea and calm its turbulent waves” (verse: 9-10).
Not only does Jesus walk on water, but also did the apostle Peter – that is, until Peter takes his focus off of the Lord to Whom he was approaching. Peter takes note of how strong the wind was. Peter begins to become frightened and thus begins to sink. But, Peter turns to the Lord in time of this distress and asks for the Lord’s help: “Lord, save me.” (v. 30) Like Peter, so too should we Christians turn to the Lord when we begin to falter. At times of calamities or sinful temptations, we are to seek the Lord’s help, His graces and blessings to withstand the onslaughts of the evil one, the devil. Faith and trust in the Lord enable us to do great things.
However, if we look back at the waves, and the winds, and the impending threat of death, we, like Peter, can begin to sink. We know that Jesus will always be with us. He will always love us and be willing to extend a hand to save us, to rescue us from impending danger. Great is Thy Faithfulness, O Lord God. He is our one true Friend Who will never forsake nor abandon us in the hour of need. He is a compassionate, loving and kind Savior Who died on the Cross to redeem us from sin and open wide the gates to the Heavenly Kingdom. May we truly walk in the footsteps of Christ as to be deemed worthy of entry into the eternal Kingdom of Heaven.
Rev. D. George Worschak