“Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered Him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”
Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:22-33, ESV)
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If you are anything like me, then it is very easy to read this all-too-familiar passage, and immediately put the focus on Peter’s response to Jesus. Today, let’s try to read this from another perspective, focused on Jesus Himself.
Why did Jesus walk on water?
A question that is asked so often, and again, the response usually comes back to Peter. When we take the attention off Peter, and focus in on Jesus, we see the answer Jesus wanted us to see all along.
“But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear” (Matthew 14:26).
Have you ever encountered a situation in life that lead you to legitimate fear? Knee-shaking, pit-sweating, sick-to-your-stomach fear?
When my grandfather was lying helplessly in a hospital bed, not having any control of his last breaths, I was legitimately fearful. I had never lost a family member at that point in my life and I had no idea what to expect. I was terrified. Depressed. Hurting. Confused. Where was Jesus in all of this?
”But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid” (Matthew 14:27).
In short, He was there through it all. Through the chaos. Pain. Confusion. Questioning. Doubt. Not once, was Jesus absent.
But in our fear, we miss this.
My heart was simply not in a place to expect the unexpected. I wasn’t ready to encounter a miracle. I didn’t see Jesus in the situation, because He didn’t respond the way I wanted. I learned that God shows up in ways that we don’t often expect, and He uses the result to teach us some of life’s biggest lessons.
“Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased” (Matthew 14:31-32).
Jesus had control of their situation. Jesus has control of your situation. The cancer? He is in control. The financial struggles? He is in control. The relationship issues? He is in control. So on and so forth.
I think Jesus is preparing us for something bigger though. While all those things are everyday struggles, God wants us to be prepared for the extraordinary. The type of things where He shows up, and we label it as a miracle. The laying on of hands, and healing is immediate. The thing that we think can’t be accomplished, but God shows up and proves us wrong.
The power of God is something far beyond anything our minds could EVER conceive, but we tend to limit it to the confines of the situations in our lives.
Our life becomes filled with “but God…” and “what if” instead of “in Jesus name…” and “yes, God.”
Our focus is on the minuscule things because we don’t know how to expect more. We don’t know how to anticipate the things our minds can’t comprehend, so we don’t even try. But God wants us to be expectant. He wants us to ask Him to do things that only He can do. We can only do this through one response…
And those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:33).
Our only response is worship.
When we know God, we respond through worship. Every time. Fear turns to peace. Confusion turns to trust. Questioning turns to silent anticipation.
THIS is why Jesus walked on water. Jesus wants our attention. He wants our focus. He wants our worship. Ultimately, He wants our life. Regardless of what is going on around you or what situation you find yourself in, Jesus CAN show up in miraculous ways.
With that said, this week…
- How can you be more expectant of the miraculous things Jesus wants to do THROUGH YOU?
- What does it look like for you to lean into the Lord amidst new situations you may find yourself in?
- How does your perspective need to shift to view your situation through worship instead of in fear?
We pray that you have been spoken to by today's devotion. If you would like the published version of this study, you can find it at our store! (Shopreadingtruth.com/product/miracles)
[guest writer, Amanda Shook]