“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” Matthew 14:28
Of all the miracles recorded in the Gospels, I think this one just might be in my top five. Perhaps because it highlights Peter. Maybe because it involves walking on water. I don’t know that I can really put my finger on it, but I love how this miracle increases my own faith every time I read it.
We meet the disciples on the pages of Scripture (Matthew 14:22-33) today after a long season of ministry alongside Jesus. They’ve been called to follow Him, they’ve left everything to do so, they’ve traveled on foot with Him wherever He goes, they’ve been eyewitnesses to the miracles Jesus performed, and to top it all off, they’ve even performed the miraculous themselves through Christ’s power. They just wrapped up an extraordinary miracle of feeding upwards of 15,000 people from just a few loafs of bread and a couple of fish, and now Jesus has sent them out onto the sea and into a sudden and violent storm.
As this fierce storm rages on, threatening to take their very lives, Matthew records that “Jesus came to them” walking on the water. If there were ever a moment in time that I wish I could have witnessed, this would be it. To see Christ moving towards them in the storm, walking on the water, choosing to meet them in their darkest night and in their deepest need…what love! Jesus could have calmed the storm without ever showing up, but there was something significant that He desired to do in Peter’s heart.
Many of us know Peter to be the one who denied Christ three times after adamantly refusing that he would ever do such a thing. Peter, the impulsive one. Peter, the one that so often seemed to be led by his emotions. Peter, the one I can’t wait to meet when I get to heaven. I get Peter. I resonate with him. I understand his compulsions and zeal. But what he does next in this story just astonishes me.
Instead of cowering in fear in the moment of perhaps his greatest fear, in the midst of this vicious storm, Peter had the audacity to ask Jesus the question, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” That, my friends, is audacious faith – a willingness to ask the question and a readiness to respond to whatever Jesus asks you to do. And all Jesus had to say in response to Peter was, “Come”, and Peter got out of the boat.
Do we have such faith to even ask the question? “Lord, if this really is you, if this is what you’re calling me to, if you are really real, if you want me to go, if you want me to stay…just say the word, and it’s done.” Do we have such faith?
Peter had many faults, but his faith shone ever so bright in this moment. Peter wasn’t any more special than the next disciple, nor was he more special than you or me. He had audacious faith, a faith that is reckless and bold, daring and fearless…and it allowed him to walk on water. His faith enabled him to walk above the waves of his storm. Your faith can cause you to do the same. Are you willing today to ask the question? Are you willing today to step out of the boat if Jesus says, “Come”? Because audacious faith asks the question.