Matthew 14:22-33 MKJV And immediately Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a boat and to go before Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. (23) And when He had sent the crowds away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray. And when evening had come, He was there alone. (24) But the boat was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves; for the wind was against them. (25) And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. (26) And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a phantom! And they cried out for fear. (27) But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, Be of good cheer, I AM! Do not fear. (28) And Peter answered Him and said, LORD, if it is You, tell me to come to You on the water. (29) And He said, Come. And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. (30) But seeing that the wind was strong, he was afraid. And beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me! (31) And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him; and said to him, Little-faith! Why did you doubt? (32) And when they had come into the boat, the wind ceased. (33) And those in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, Truly You are the Son of God.
After feeding the four thousand, Jesus knew there were a number of men who did not open their hearts to understand His parables, miracles, or mission. He knew what harm they could cause if they were allowed to present their ideas to Him and His disciple.
As the sun was setting the sea was calm. Jesus quietly gathered up His disciples. “I want you to return to the shore on the other side and wait for me.” Peter asked Him, “where are you going?” Jesus exclaimed, “up to the mountain to pray. I have a few things to work out on my own.” Remembering how He had been troubled by the news of John’s death, Peter gathered the others into the boat, and they cast off, headed for the other side.
Jesus climbed to the top of the mountain, praying as He ascended. Beginning the rigorous climb, His mind was set on John, and the trials He knew were ahead of Him. The long arduous trek reminded Him of the trials everyone faced on their journey to Heaven. Jesus sat upon a rock which for centuries had overlooked the sea. As He prayed, He was shown two lessons His followers must understand. They must have a proper vision of Heaven. With this they would be able to keep the trials they were about to face in perspective. Knowing this world was only temporary would help them overcome their trials. This was the only way to experience the love His Father had for them. This would provide the comfort required in times of trouble. Both of these required an open heart, an open mind with vision beyond the material world. Jesus prayed for the proper examples so the lessons would never be forgotten, but handed down until the end of days.
Looking out over the sea, Jesus could see and hear the winds increasing in speed and strength. The light of the full moon showed trees bending under the mighty power of the winds. The Spirit told Jesus what He must do to teach the disciples the lessons they needed. In the darkness Jesus began His decent down the mountain.
James and John also heard the approaching wind, and knew it was not good news. Their years of experience on the seas told them to point the tiny boat into the wind. Immediately upon changing course, the waves began to crash upon the small craft. Wave after wave beat against the boat. Water splashed up over the bow. As James and John fought against the wind and waves others bailed out water as quickly as possible. John knew they were not rowing on the intended course, but not turning the boat into the wrath of storm could result in a loss of everything.
After an hour of struggling against the storm, Peter looked up at the sky. It was unusual to have such a wind on a clear night. The moon and stars were completely visible. Peter looked behind Him to see if the shore was insight, wondering if turning the boat to the south would save them. He noticed a figure on the water. At first he thought his eyes were deceiving him. Or maybe it was a devils spout, a rare cyclone forming on the open sea. He covered his face with his hands to keep the blowing water out of his face. Examining the water around the strange figure in the distance he saw a calm surrounding it. A little while later he noticed the figure dressed in a white cloak, but it was not being blown by the wind. In shear terror Peter called out, “It is a phantom!” James and John looked up from their labored rowing. Without skipping a beat they cried out in fear, “lets get away from this place.” The others turned around, waiting for their eyes to adjust to the scene before adding in, “it is a demon. What are we to do?” Jesus called out, “Be of good cheer, I AM! Do not fear.”
Seeing the sea was calm around the figure, Peter tried standing in the boat as it was still tossed by the wind and waves. He could not stand straight, but hung onto the boat with his left hand. He used his right hand to direct his voice as he shouted, “LORD, if it is You, tell me to come to You on the water.” Jesus stopped a short distance from the boat. The look on Jesus’ face and the calm water around Him gave a feeling of confidence to Peter. Jesus answered, “come!”
The water between Jesus and the back of the boat suddenly became calm, leaving a path between Peter and Jesus. The front of the boat was still caught up in the storm, making it difficult for Peter to steady himself for the first step. He looked at Jesus, who didn’t say a thing, but opened up His arms to welcome Peter. Grabbing onto the side of the boat with both hands, staying as low as possible, Peter worked his way out of the boat, placing one foot upon the water, pressing it down to test the footing. To his surprise, he found it as solid and any earth he had walked upon. He had no explanation for it, and the situation left him little opportunity to think of one, as his faith directed him toward Jesus.
As soon as Peter placed his other foot on the water he straightened upright, looking at Jesus, hardly believing he was actually walking on water. Jesus walked toward him. Peter’s right hand still rested on the side of the boat which was violently tossing and turning with the waves. Looking at the scene James and John discontinued their rowing. The boat was quickly launched backward just missing Peter. As he turned to watch the boat skipping past him, he began to sink. He turned back to Jesus shouting, “Lord, save me!” Jesus reached out, taking hold of Peter’s hand, lifting him out of the water saying, “What little faith! Why do you doubt?”
Andrew, sat stunned at the front of the boat. The waves crashing over did little to distract his attention. He pondered the scene, wondering what lessons Jesus was teaching, and how this related to the parables He had taught. Holding onto Peter, Jesus helped him into the rocking boat. The sea and winds still threatened the disciples, but knowing Jesus was present felt safe and assured. The moment Jesus’ foot entered the boat, the winds died, and the sea calmed. The miracle stunned all the disciples, who bowed down to Jesus inside the boat, with the exception of Andrew, who said, “ truly, you are the Son of God.”
Andrew began to understand the lessons Jesus was teaching. He remembered what Jesus has taught about the resurrection. This was the day all of Jesus’ followers would be taken to Heaven. Andrew could see a connection. The second Jesus entered the boat, the winds and waves lost their power. The threats and fear were gone There was no more reason to worry. There was nothing but peace, and Jesus. That is the way it will be when Jesus returns. Those alive will see an instant change from a disturbed world, to one without cares or worries. Everything will be calm and serene. When Jesus appears the cares of the world will end as quickly as the storm.