Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus Walks on Water

Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus Walks on Water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” [1]


“Take control!” the books scream at us. Take control of what? Well, of our weight, of course, and our health and our careers and our finances and even (as some titles arrogantly proclaim) our very lives!

Those self-help books have a point, certainly. We don’t have to eat Cheetos and Twinkies and wash them down with Mountain Dew for a bedtime snack. We can choose an apple instead. While we do have freedom in some areas of our lives, ultimately we do not have much control.

For example, a couch potato can live into his 80s, while a diet and fitness expert can drop dead of a heart attack at age 35. A time-management fanatic can end up in bed sick and unable to do anything for a week. Who plans for that? The person who scrupulously budgets his money can get laid off and not find a job.

Every now and then we get a clear reminder from God that we are not ultimately in control. For the disciples, it was an unforeseen storm that made the trip across the lake a scary and tiring ordeal. What is it for us? Is it a shocking diagnosis? a broken relationship? a shattered dream? an unexpected tragedy? a sudden death?

Well, you can thank God for such things. They refocus our faith. They direct us away from trusting in our own ability and intellect to get us through life and drive us toward God’s power and guidance. They direct us away from a complacency in our Christian faith and life to renewed repentance and dependence on God’s grace. They inspire us to greater faithfulness as the Lord sustains us or, in his time, delivers us, as he did the disciples.

Control? No, we don’t really have much at all. But we have put our trust in the One who does. Thank him for reminding us of that. Thank him for proving at the cross that he uses his control in love for our eternal good.

Prayer: Whatever it takes, Lord, keep me dependent on you. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (Mt 14:22-33). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.