Jesus uses these three words 13 times in 6 verses (NIV)
Matthew 14:22–31 (NIV)
Jesus Walks on the Water
14:22–33pp—Mk 6:45–51; Jn 6:16–21
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. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn 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?”
The first thought which comes to mind, I believe is what so many others say. When Peter took his attention away from Christ, he began to sink. Moreover, so much of that is true. I would guess that most of us, when we feel we are struggling most, if we look back we had a gradual reduced role of Christ in our lives.
A second thought which hits me, one that Christ had even spoke of, is isn’t it amazing how the disciples had Christ right with them, in the boat and more, but still had troubling getting past all the limitations of trust we either are seemingly born with or learn as we grow into adults.
There is so much to gather from the Bible, but sometimes I really like to bring it down to its simplest form. We can try to be a “Christian” all the time or simpler, we can always work on putting our faith in him, focusing on him and letting the outcomes take care of themselves. Remember the number one commandment or greatest:
Matthew 22:37–38 (NIV)
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
If we can just practice these – I truly believe we cannot worry about the rest.
How Can I?
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” Luke 1:34
Every parent knows the difference between two “How can I . . .?” questions from a child. One is asked in unbelief and resistance (“How can I clean up this room by myself?”) and one is asked for information’s sake (“How can I mix the cookie dough?”). It is the question asked in willing faith that brings the help that is needed.
The angel Gabriel brought news of impending births to two families: Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth, and Joseph and his betrothed, Mary. When Zacharias heard the news that his wife would bear a son in her old age, he responded in unbelief (Luke 1:18). And he was struck dumb for nine months. But when Mary received her news, she responded in faith (Luke 1:38). Both responses were similar: “How can I . . .?”—but their motivations were different. Zacharias came to a place of faith in time, but Mary had faith from the beginning.
God doesn’t mind questions; there are plenty of them throughout the Bible. But they should reveal our desire for guidance and help, not our lack of faith.
Why are we so slow to trust an infinite God? William S. Plumer
A Foreshadowing of Redemption