I asked to boys to remember what we read yesterday, and they were able to retell the story in detail. It is good to repeat stories!
Now we read a story that they haven’t heard before. It is the story of Jesus walking on water, and it comes directly after the miracle of feeding the five thousand.
As we talked about yesterday, Jesus and the disciples wanted to rest and recover at a solitary place. However, the crowds seek out Jesus, and so he preaches to them all day. He gives them spiritual food, and also physical food that satisfies. And now, we start our passage, where Jesus dismisses the crowd, and makes the disciples take a boat and go on ahead, while he goes to a solitary place to pray.
Finally Jesus and the disciples go for some needed rest, but there isn’t much rest in the story. Jesus spends his energy praying, while the disciples are battling the waves in the Sea of Galilee. After hours of wrestling the wind, the disciples see a figure walking on the lake heading towards them. Of course, they are terrified and think it is a ghost. (It’s between 3-6 in the morning, by the way.) Immediately Jesus calls out to tell them it is him. “Don’t be afraid. It is I!”
Surprisingly, Peter wants to see if this is really Jesus and if he could walk on water, too. He does walk for a hot second, but he sees the wind and the waves, and reality sinks in. Literally. Even though he saw Jesus walk, even though he knows Jesus has the power, the reality of the waves right underneath and the strong wind against his body is too much for him. He starts to doubt if this was a good idea, and sinks. But immediately Jesus reaches out and grabs him.
Jesus says, “You of little faith. Why did you doubt?” As a third party just reading this story, we understand why Jesus would say that. Did you not see Jesus performing all these miracles? Haven’t you experienced how powerful Jesus is? Besides, Jesus was with you right on the lake within arms reach! Why did you doubt?
Because reality is too much for us. We are people of little faith.
The boys tease Peter as we read the story, but they know and we know that we would all act the same as Peter in that situation. It’s because we act like that even today. Even though we read and know about Jesus and his power and love, we doubt everyday whether he is really in control of our lives. Our finances, our friends, our workplace, etc. are too big of a reality to trust him. But as the story shows, Jesus is within arms reach, and he will bring us to the boat, we will all be able worship him saying “Really you are the Son of God!”