Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31)
As soon as Jesus heard the news of John the Baptist’s death, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children!
The twelve disciples of Jesus were there. It was yet another miracle that they eye-witnessed. 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. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone praying. Jesus was with His Father, God.
Meanwhile, the disciples went deep into the lake far away from land through the night. Suddenly, a strong wind had risen. At the deep dark night, in the middle of the lake, they were fighting with heavy waves. Their struggle continued through the night. They were exhausted and in desperation without their teacher. The night was long and harsh. The disciples like sheep without shepherd was lost in the storm while doing everything to survive against the heavy wind and waves.
Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake toward the disciples. In the dim light, they saw someone walking on the lake. They were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they cried out in fear.
Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. It is I.” (Matthew 14:27)
Then they realized that it was their teacher. Peter, one of the disciples, called out to Jesus with courage: “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
“Yes, come,” Jesus said. (Matthew 14:28-29)
So Peter went over the side of the boat, and jumped in to the lake. Amazingly, he was able to walk on the water like Jesus. Then he walked on the water toward Jesus. He carefully and slowly made a few steps to Jesus, while watching his face. He could not believe himself – he was walking on the water. All other disciples were astonished too. Peter quickly built up confidence. He walked as if he walked on land. His eyes was fixated to Jesus, and each step by step, he was in joy because he was getting closer to Jesus. Then he almost forgot he was walking on the water, although the lake was not calm. It was still in the middle of the storm.
Without warning, a strong wind and a huge wave came to Peter. It made him realize what he was doing. Under his feet, there was nothing but water. The wave approaching to him was much taller than himself. He could no longer fix his eyes on Jesus, but started focusing on the huge waves approaching to him. Suddenly his heart was filled with fear. Immediately, he felt that one of his feet was sinking. He quickly picked up the foot to walk on the water as he did. It did not work. He was helplessly sinking down to the lake. Only was the hope to cry out Jesus, his teacher.
“Lord, save me!” Peter loudly shouted (Matthew 14:30b). He was almost drowning because the water was already reaching up to his chest, and he was rapidly sinking into the bottom of the lake. Jesus, hearing his screaming, immediately reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” Jesus said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31b).
Peter was not the only one who lost faith before a strong wind and a huge wave. Elijah was a really faithful prophet. With the power of God, he fought against the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah. Elijah proved that they were false prophets, which made them killed by the people who finally recognized them as false prophets. The false prophets used to eat at Jezebel’s table. After the victory, Elijah also prayed to God rain, and made rain on the land of Israel after the long three and half year’s drought.
Jezebel, King Ahab’s wife, was told about everything Elijah had done and how Elijah had killed all the prophets with a sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” It was a great threat to Elijah.
Rather than fixing his eyes on God with faith as he fought again the 850 false prophets, he looked at the huge wave of Jezebel approaching to him. Thus, Elijah ran for his life and went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
The merciful God made Elijah flee to a safe place, and then asked ““Elijah! Why are you here?” Elijah answer that he did all miracles for God, but he was alone. In fear of being killed by Jezebel, he fled. God comforted Elijah in great fear by telling, “I have seven thousand people left in Israel who have never bowed down before Baal and whose mouths have never kissed his idol.” (1 kings 19:18)
God is greater than anything on earth that make us put into fear. After all, our fear is originated from our heart, which is manufactured by our own thought and imagination, which is not grounded on Truth. As long as we are being connected to God by fixing our eyes on Him, we will know the Truth. Our victory is sure. Jesus has already won the battle. There is no more fear in God, our absolutely sovereign God.
You are from God, little children, and have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
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