By Helen Knueven
Jesus went alone to pray after sending His disciples on a ship. While they were there a great storm developed. At some time of the night, Jesus’ returned to them. He walked on the water, and met up with the tossed ship that rocked the frightened followers.
They were afraid they saw a ghost, but Jesus reassured them. “Don’t be afraid; it ‘s me!”
Peter, struck by the adventure and sight of Jesus walking on water requested, “Jesus, if that is you – tell me to come to you!” Jesus complied – and Peter walked on the water for a short time until the ravishing waves caught his attention and then he began to fall.
Jesus realized Peter’s faith was wavering. He extended His hand and lifted him up. After they entered the ship, the storm subsided. The vote was unanimous amidst the disciples: Jesus was the Son of God!
Many sermons have been preached on this passage. Some point out the necessity of faith and urge us to have more faith and to be less like Peter.
Some say, “Be like Peter! At least he walked on water for awhile.”
Others emphasize the graciousness of our Lord . Though He chastised Peter for doubting, He did not hesitate to extend Himself in two ways: in calling out to Peter to join Him in the water walk, and in holding him up when he began to sink.
Today I would like to share another thought. I would like to focus on what Jesus was doing after He sent the disciples away. He was praying. Time with the Father was valued far above everything else. Of all the people He could be healing, of all the storms He could be calming, of all the profound sermons He could have been preaching – Jesus’ priority was His relationship with the Father.
Jesus could have handled this situation is so many different ways. If He relied on experience instead of relationship, He may have spoken to the waves as He did in Matthew 8:26-27. If He did, Peter would have never walked on water. Nor would the others have witnessed the available power of God for everyone who believes.
Because of His constant communion with the Father – He always knew the best way to handle every situation. Although experience is a good teacher – the Holy Spirit is the best teacher.
Has God placed you in some form of leadership? Can you trust the Lord to develop the faith of the people in your life? Do you unintentionally stop those you lead from growing by managing? Or do you lead from the outflow of your relationship with the Lord? Have your best lessons in life been learned from lecture or by experience? Though Jesus Christ was fully human and fully divine - He walked as a man in obedience to the Father; thereby becoming our example.
Let’s be honest. Human nature is walking on concrete, not water. But we are in this Christianity for the magnificent nature of God.
Only in His presence are we truly transformed.
Jesus does not want us to live on the edge of experience but in the joy of God’s ability and presence through us. My prayer is that our communion with the Father will precede our decisions and life’s occurrences.