August 9, 2022
Read Matthew 14:22-33
22 Right then, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead to the other side of the lake while he dismissed the crowds. 23 When he sent them away, he went up onto a mountain by himself to pray. Evening came and he was alone. 24 Meanwhile, the boat, fighting a strong headwind, was being battered by the waves and was already far away from land. 25 Very early in the morning he came to his disciples, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified and said, “It’s a ghost!” They were so frightened they screamed. 27 Just then Jesus spoke to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid.” 28 Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.” 29 And Jesus said, “Come.” Then Peter got out of the boat and was walking on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when Peter saw the strong wind, he became frightened. As he began to sink, he shouted, “Lord, rescue me!” 31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him, saying, “You man of weak faith! Why did you begin to have doubts?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind settled down. 33 Then those in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, “You must be God’s Son!”
Good morning! We are called to step out in faith.
What does it mean to step out in faith? Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, we read examples of those with great faith, those with wavering faith, and those with doubts or little faith. Faith is defined as complete trust in someone or something. I am especially intrigued by those individuals who like us have moments in which they exhibit all three levels of faith that I listed.
Think of those times where you hear about something new and unexpected. At first, you might think, “well, this must be a scam because that is simply not possible.” As you follow the news and see examples of success, you begin to wonder about the possibility. Perhaps you know someone who is directly affected and you start to believe, so you join with the group of followers and get caught up in the revelry. The more you see the more you believe. You step forward as a leader in the movement and you are strong until someone points out the obvious uncertainty or impossibility of what is happening. You waver and begin to fall.
Peter’s life as a disciple could be related to the story I shared. In the beginning, when he was standing cleaning his nets, he didn’t want to be bothered by this “Jesus”, but out of respect or sense of obligation he did as he was asked. He was touched by the words and actions of Jesus and decided to follow him. In those early travels, he had doubts, but he willingly continued on the journey. As they encountered groups of people and he watched and listened as Jesus taught and healed all who came, Peter began to truly believe in this “teacher”. In fact, Peter felt compelled to protect Jesus because he seemed unaware of the dangers in the places they traveled.
We can relate to Peter as he begins to believe. After all, Jesus was loving and compassionate. Peter starts emerging as a leader among the followers. In today’s passage, we see Peter’s great faith when he steps out of the boat and begins to walk towards Jesus. Then Peter’s brain and eyes take over and he realizes that what he is doing is impossible. Afterall, people can’t walk on water. He panics and begins to sink. Jesus asks, “Why did you begin to have doubts?”
We have seen God’s power in our world and in our lives. Yet, we still have doubts when what we see looks insurmountable. We must see the world as Jesus and believe that nothing is impossible when we step out in faith and allow God’s power to be revealed to us.
Loving and Caring God, Thank You for loving us. We want to have the faith that can move mountains, but we have trouble believing that through you, we can do impossible things. Thank you for not giving up on us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen
Thought for the day: Sometimes it takes a step of faith to meet Jesus.
Believe! Pastor Liz