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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Walking on Water

Everyone knows the story of Jesus walking on water. The world knows it. There is even a "Jesus lizard" known for running on water and so-called because of that story about Jesus. Some even use it as a reference to perfection. To someone claiming moral superiority they might say, "You don't walk on water, you know!" Because, as everyone knows, Jesus, the Son of God, walked on water.

Jesus was not the only one.

After the feeding of the 5,000 (Matt 14:13-21), Jesus withdrew to pray while the disciples went on across the Sea of Galilee where they ran into a storm (Matt 14:22-23) and Jesus walked out on the water (Matt 14:25) to help. When the disciples saw Him coming, they thought He was a ghost but He identified Himself and told them not to fear (Matt 14:26-27). Peter said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." (Matt 14:28) (Strange way to prove it was Jesus, but ...) Jesus told him to come, and "Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus." (Matt 14:29)

There you have it! Jesus was not the only one to walk on water. Peter did, too!

Why don't we remember Peter for that? Well, it didn't last long. "But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, 'Lord, save me!'" and Jesus took hold of him, berated him for his lack of faith, got him into the boat, and the storm stopped (Matt 14:30-32).

A popular story, to be sure, but what's my point? My point is that Jesus walked on water, but so did Peter. My point is that Jesus's disciples have feats of faith they can perform if they're only willing. So what was the limiting factor? What is our limiting factor? What prevented Peter from walking on water long enough to be noticed as "the other guy who walked on water"? Not his lack of perfection. Peter was never perfect. It was his lack of faith. What stunted Peter's faith? "Seeing the wind, he became frightened." (Matt 14:30) Peter was looking at the problem, not the answer. Peter was looking at circumstances, not the Savior.

We live in stormy times -- politics, the economy, education, loss of religious freedom, oppression from without, destruction from within ... on and on. The storm is real. Indeed, the storm was promised (e.g., John 15:20; 2 Tim 3:12). The problem is not the storm. The problem is where we look. If we get our eyes on the problems, we will miss the Savior and the opportunity to act in faith. Jesus makes it possible for all of us to walk on water in a storm. We just have to keep our eyes on Him.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

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