If you’re a fisherman/woman or a boat enthusiast, you probably relate to the story of Jesus walking on the water. Many times, we are captivated by Jesus’s miraculous act, and we look past the reason he was out on the water in the first place.
Jesus does not begin at sea in the story. He is praying on a mountain. While Jesus is away, the disciples find themselves in a predicament. Their boat has been washed out to sea. If you’ve been in a boat very many times, it’s likely that you’ve run into problems with the wind.
I worked as a counselor at a Bible camp for a summer in my college years. The camp was on a lake, and across the lake from the camp stood an old church. Each week, I had the opportunity to take my cabin of boys to the church via canoe. Imagine taking a dozen fifth graders in canoes across a lake on a calm day, let alone a windy one. On some of these trips, I wished for Jesus to come walking on the water to get us to the other side. You can about imagine how terrified the disciples were to be washed out to sea by a terrible breeze.
As Christians, we are pretty familiar with this language: those who believe will be saved. Jesus’s words to Peter immediately after he saves him seem to be almost contradictory to that. Jesus saves Peter and immediately asks why he doesn’t believe. Did Jesus save an unbeliever?
Jesus lets Peter seek out other options for a savior in this story. Peter looks out on the sea to find what will save him, and there is only one option available. And so, Peter calls upon Jesus: “Lord, save me.” Jesus makes a believer out of Peter. It’s a last-ditch effort, but behold, it worked. Jesus does not ignore those who call upon his name.
The best and most applicable gift that you have concerning this story is that, like Peter, you have the Lord’s name to call upon in times of need. What a great gift.