Day 4 – Jesus walks across a lake

Bible reading: Matthew 14:22–33

Jesus walks on the water

22 Immediately after this, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Get in the boat and sail across to the other side of the lake.’ Jesus said that he would first send the crowd away. Then he would also leave. 23 So, Jesus sent the crowd away. After they had gone, he went up on a mountain alone to pray. When it became dark, he was still there alone. 24 At this time the boat with the disciples in it was in the middle of the lake. It was a long way from the land. The wind was blowing against the boat and the water was hitting it.

25 Then, when it was nearly dawn, Jesus walked on the water towards his disciples. 26 The disciples saw him walking on the water. They were very frightened. ‘It is a spirit,’ they said. They screamed loudly because they were afraid.

27 But immediately Jesus said to them. ‘Be brave! It is I. Do not be afraid.’

28 Peter replied, ‘Lord, is it really you? If it is you, say to me, “Come here! Walk to me on the water.” ’

29 Jesus said to him, ‘Come to me.’

So Peter got down out of the boat. He walked on the water and he came towards Jesus. 30 But then Peter saw that the wind was still blowing strongly. He became afraid and he began to go down into the water. He shouted to Jesus, ‘Lord, save me!’

31 Immediately, Jesus put out his hand and he took hold of Peter. He said to Peter, ‘You should trust me more than you do. Why did you not believe that I could help you?’

32 Jesus and Peter climbed up into the boat. Then the strong wind stopped. 33 The disciples who were in the boat went down on their knees. They praised Jesus and they said to him, ‘It is true. You are really the Son of God.’

Matthew 14:22-33 EasyEnglish Bible (EASY)

Reflection

This story follows on immediately from that amazing picnic in the desert that Jesus hosted. One of the other accounts tells us that, afterwards, the crowds wanted to make Jesus their king. That would have caused a lot of trouble with the Romans who controlled them! So Jesus went off into the hills by himself, to pray and to rest, after telling his friends to get into the boat and cross the lake or ‘Sea of Galilee’ as we call it.

A fierce storm is coming

Several hours of the night passed – he was praying and they were struggling with one of the sudden storms for which that lake is known. And then, to their amazement, they saw Jesus coming towards them, walking on the water, overcoming the storm and the waves. It is not at all surprising that they were filled with terror – and thought he was a ghost!

Peter, always the risk-taker

But Peter, always the risk-taker, said, ‘Jesus, if it really is you, can I come and join you on the water?’

Jesus said, ‘Come’. And Peter went – for a few steps.

Then he realized what he was doing. He had sudden panic and started to sink. But he had the common sense to call out, ‘Save me!’

And of course, Jesus is the Saviour or rescuer. Immediately, he gripped Peter, challenged him for his doubts, and put him in the boat.

This completely amazed them. They worshipped him, saying, ‘You really are the Son of God.’

An incredible thing had become reality: the living God, in the person of Jesus, had come to rescue humans. He could protect them in any storm – but only if they trusted him. He still can!

It’s not surprising that this is how the story ends: ‘When they had pulled their boats onto the beach, they left everything and followed him’. Yes, ordinary people still do.