Step Into the Boat

Kevin Whitacre   -  

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?”
Matthew 14:25–31 (NLT)

Matthew 14 is a classic part of scripture if we can say there is such a thing. At the very least it is one of the more well-known passages of scripture. This of course is Peter’s famous walk on the water. Apparently, Peter was the only disciple willing to get out of the boat. He then experienced the presence and power of Jesus in a way that truly displayed faith in the Lord. He was literally walking like Jesus on the water. This holds so many lessons for us all.

One of the great lessons that we see is the importance of getting out of the boat, stepping over the rail, taking a risk. This represents our stepping out of our comfort, our experience, and what we have known. Certainly, there is no walking on water from inside the boat. But there is another lesson that is often overlooked in this section of scripture. It’s simple and right in front of us yet we often read right past it.

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home.
Matthew 14:22 (NLT)

The simple truth is that before Peter could step out of the boat, he had to first get into the boat. Matthew 14:22 even indicates that there may have been some reluctance to get in the boat as Jesus had to insist they get in. Peter’s willingness to obey the voice of Jesus and first get into the boat is what actually positions him to follow the voice of Jesus onto the water. Our willingness to get in the boat puts us where God wants us to be and, when the time is right, He calls us to walk on the waves. Clearly, Peter would not have walked on water had he stayed on the shore. Walking on water does not begin with getting out of the boat. Walking on water begins by first getting in the boat.

So, I ask myself, is there a boat that Jesus is calling me to step into?  Is there an obedience, a ministry, a service to God that will position me to walk on water just like Jesus?