The phrase “walking on water” is a well-known biblical metaphor and miracle attributed to Jesus Christ. According to the New Testament of the Bible, the story of Jesus walking on water is found in the Gospels of Matthew (Matthew 14:22-33), Mark (Mark 6:45-52), and John (John 6:16-21).
In the Gospel accounts, Jesus had sent his disciples ahead of him in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee while he went up on a mountainside to pray. During the night, a strong wind and rough waves battered the boat, causing distress among the disciples. In the early hours of the morning, Jesus went to them, walking on the water.
When the disciples saw Jesus approaching on the water, they were frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. Jesus then reassured them, saying, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Peter, one of his disciples, expressed his desire to come to Jesus on the water. Jesus granted his request, and Peter stepped out of the boat and began walking on the water towards Jesus.
However, as Peter noticed the strong wind, he became afraid and began to sink. He cried out to Jesus for help, and Jesus immediately reached out his hand to save him, saying, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” After Jesus and Peter climbed back into the boat, the wind ceased, and the disciples worshiped Jesus, recognizing his divine power.
The story of Jesus walking on water is often interpreted as a demonstration of Jesus’ divinity and his ability to overcome the laws of nature. It is also seen as a lesson in faith and trust in God. Peter’s experience on the water reflects the human tendency to doubt, but it also illustrates how faith can empower believers to do extraordinary things.
Bible Passage: Walking on Water, Matthew 14:22-33 (New International Version)
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.“
29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Analysis and Study:
In this compelling account, we witness one of the most iconic miracles performed by Jesus – walking on water. The passage begins with Jesus sending His disciples ahead on a boat while He withdraws to pray on a mountainside. The disciples find themselves in the midst of a fierce storm, with waves and wind threatening to overcome them. Then, to their astonishment and fear, they see Jesus walking towards them on the water.
Amidst their fear and confusion, Peter boldly seeks confirmation that it is indeed Jesus on the water. Jesus responds with a simple invitation, “Come.” Fueled by faith, Peter steps out of the boat and miraculously begins to walk on water toward Jesus. However, as he takes his eyes off Jesus and focuses on the storm around him, fear grips his heart, and he starts to sink. In his desperation, he cries out to Jesus, who immediately reaches out and saves him.
Lessons and Core Learnings:
- The Power of Faith: This passage exemplifies the power of faith in Jesus Christ. When we trust in Him and His abilities, we can achieve extraordinary feats. Faith enables us to step out of our comfort zones and embrace the unknown, relying on God’s strength and guidance.
- Walking in Obedience: Jesus called Peter to come to Him on the water, and Peter obeyed without hesitation. Obedience to God’s calling, even when it seems unconventional or challenging, opens the door to experiencing His miraculous presence and power.
- The Danger of Doubt: Peter’s experience also serves as a cautionary tale of the danger of doubt. When we allow doubt and fear to overshadow our faith, we can lose sight of God’s promises and provision. Keeping our focus firmly on Jesus helps us overcome doubt and insecurity.
- God’s Ever-Present Help: Even in the midst of life’s storms, Jesus is always near, ready to extend His hand and rescue us when we call out to Him. This passage reminds us of God’s faithfulness and the importance of seeking Him in times of trouble.
“The Power of Faith: Walking on Water” demonstrates that unwavering faith in Jesus Christ empowers us to do the extraordinary and face life’s challenges with courage. As we step out in obedience to His call, we must keep our eyes fixed on Him, trusting that He is with us in every situation. When doubts arise, let us call out to Jesus, knowing that He is ever ready to catch us, lift us up, and calm the storms around us. Through this passage, we are encouraged to deepen our relationship with God and embrace a life of faith and reliance on Him.