“‘Come,’ Jesus said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’”
Matthew 14:29-30 NIVUK
I think Peter is often very hard done to in the way many people remember this story and the conclusions they come to.
For many of us the focus so easily becomes about Peter sinking through fear and lack of faith. Maybe that's a peculiarly British thing - spotting the negative straight away!
Yes Jesus said to Peter "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
That was not judgemental or negative , it was a fact and a lesson. A lesson about what could be achieved with simple obedient faith even in the face of the seemingly impossible.
The two things that tower in this story for me - and give me great encouragement and inspiration are:
1. The immense faith of Peter who heard an invitation from Jesus that, in human terms, was asking the impossible, and to 'just do it' without hesitation. That is great faith and rock solid obedience. Give me more of that Lord...
2. OK, so he saw the the wind and waves and for a moment thought 'what on earth am I doing'. He faltered slightly and nature took its course - but Jesus was with Him. He reached out and took hold of Peter. There is a lesson that Peter needed to learn to encourage him in future heroic steps of faith.
Did Peter fall and fail again ? Yes, no doubt more times than we know.
Did Peter take awesome steps of faith again ? Yes, probably more times than we know!
Was Jesus with Him at every step of the way - in the failures and the triumphs?
Was Peter a person just like us? Yes.
Was Peter heroic? Yes!
So what do you focus on in the story?