Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. Matthew 14:27-29 (NLT)
Want a catchy title for a book? If You Want to Walk On Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg. There are many water-walkers mentioned in the Bible; Abraham, Moses, and Joshua to name a few.
But this book focuses on the invitation from Jesus to the Apostle Peter to meet him in the middle of the storm.
Two things caught my attention in Peter’s response, “If it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
First, he wanted to make very sure that Jesus was the one issuing the invitation, not a figment of his imagination. Jesus was asking him to crawl over the side of the boat into churning water. He was already drenched from the waves that had washed into the boat from the fierce storm.
Second, he asked for direct leading or a command.
This was not some foolish impulse on Peter’s part or a story of risk-taking. It is a story of trust and obedience. Peter fixed his gaze on the Master’s face, slipped over the edge, and had the time of his life—he walked on water.
But what about the others in the boat? They thought He was a ghost. Even when Jesus called out to calm them, they remained terrified. They didn’t line up behind Peter, ready for their turn. I’m sure all of them heard Jesus but only Peter chose to trust and obey.
There have been times in my life when I hid in the depths of the “boat” as my circumstances whirled out of control…afraid, cowering, and unwilling to move. I wanted to pull the covers up over my head until the storm had passed.
But, I don’t want to stay in the boat—I want to be a water-walker. When He says, “Come, let’s go for a walk,” that smooth, easy road that I think I want is nothing like the wild ride offered by my Savior. But what an adventure it will be!