Mathew 14:25-33 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” 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. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
Costa Rica is our second most favorite place on earth, second only to our home. In this one small country, there are mountains, rain forests, and pristine beaches all within a short distance of each other. It is a quite beautiful place with brightly colored flora and fauna. They also have quite a few unique creatures hanging around such as many varieties of monkeys, sloths, and we’ve even seen a silky anteater once. On my first trip to Costa Rica, I saw a totally cool little dude whose genus is Basiliscus, but his friends call him the Jesus Christ lizard, or for short, the Jesus lizard. Why would one call a lizard a Jesus lizard? These little guys are small, and they are fast. Because of their light weight and rapid speed, they can literally run across water for good lengths before sinking. Yep, they walk (or rather run) on water. Pretty cool, huh?
Our scripture today reminds us of a man that walked on water. Yes, Jesus walked on water. He is Jesus, and although it is absolutely amazing that He can walk on water, it isn’t surprising when we recognize who He is. But Peter? He was a mere man, but he walked on water for a few moments too. The disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee when a storm struck. They had been battling the waves for hours, and were surely growing weary. Around 3:00 in the morning, Jesus came to them. He was walking on the water in the midst of a terrible storm. When the disciples first caught sight of Him, they were terrified. They perhaps thought that they were seeing a ghost. However, when they heard the voice of Jesus, they knew that it was Him. Immediately, Peter said, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” And Jesus said, “Come.” Peter climbed over the side of the boat, and despite the winds and the waves, he began walking on the water towards Jesus. However, when he took his focus off of Christ, and he began to take note of the winds and waves, he became terrified and sank.
We can glean a lot of good stuff from this scripture, but the most important take away for today is not that Peter sank, but that Peter climbed out of the boat to walk towards Jesus. We may be in the middle of the storm of our lives, paddling fiercely until our arms feel as though they are going to fall off, battling the winds and the waves, and feeling unsure of when or how we will be delivered from the storm. But when we are in the midst of the storm, we must remember that we are not alone. Just as Christ walked on water to rescue the disciples, He is walking on water towards you and I. He is there. He is always there. He is willing, able, and ready to save us, but folks, we have to climb out of the boat! We have to take that leap of faith. Even when our faith falters, He is there to grab a hold of us and save us. We merely have to trust in Christ knowing that He is our salvation.
Peter didn’t look at the storm when he climbed over the side of the boat. He climbed right out ignoring the storm and stepped out on faith. He didn’t look at the dire circumstance in which he was in. Instead, he kept his eyes and his focus on Jesus. Peter heard the voice of Jesus, and this gave him all the courage he needed. Another key thing to note is that Peter physically climbed out of the boat. Consider this for a moment. It would be hard for me to climb out of a boat and attempt to walk on water on a good day, but Peter did this in the middle of a violent storm. By stepping out, he further demonstrated his faith in Christ.
As Christians, we are asked to step out on faith…even in the midst of storms, perhaps especially in the midst of storms. When the storms are violently raging and the waves are crashing in, it is then that our faith is tested and purified. It is then that we meet our salvation. And even if we fail, which we very well may, we can always count on our salvation and the saving grace of Jesus. If Christ is calling you out of the boat today, even if it is in the middle of a storm, go to Him. Don’t focus on the raging storm. Focus on the Savior. Don’t walk. Run! Run like a little Jesus lizard. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He is the Messiah. He is our salvation. He is calling you today. Won’t you come…come to the Savior today?