“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you”
I can only imagine what it must have been like for Peter and the rest of the disciples on that night. It had been an incredibly long day and they were probably very tired. Now, they are out in a small boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, fighting a massive storm. And where was Jesus during all this time? He had sent them ahead. He had to have known there was going to be a storm, He is the Son of God after all. At the point when everything seems to be going wrong, Jesus shows up. A figure in the mist, walking on top of the waves. At first, Peter doesn’t know what to think. Some of the disciples cry out, “It’s a ghost!” (Matthew 14:26) I’m sure at this point they thought death had finally come to take them. Not Peter, he knew that something was different. Jesus calls back to them, “Take courage! It is I. don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27) Peter could have stopped there. These words from Jesus are reassurance enough that everything is going to be alright. But Peter is not satisfied. He has always desired to be as close to Jesus as possible. He calls out to Jesus to let him walk out to be near Him and Jesus simply says “Come.” (Matthew 14:29). So being Peter, he goes. I’m not sure if he jumped of the side of the boat or if he gingerly stepped down onto the waves but I can picture his face when his feet stood solidly on the water. A mixture of uncertainty at first, then sheer joy and amazement as he looks and Jesus. I don’t know what the Arimaic term for “Woohoo! Ahh Haa!” but I’m sure Peter probably said it. Then it hits him. He begins to look around and see the wind and the waves crashing around him. For that split second he sees his surroundings and he begins to forget why he is there in the first place. As he sinks he calls out to Jesus, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30) Jesus doesn’t hesitate, He doesn’t call him a fool, He simply reaches out his hand and says “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31) I don’t think Jesus’s comment is talking about that specific moment. I think Jesus says that to remind Peter and all the other disciples of all the promises that have been made to them. In Isaiah 41:13, God tells the Israelites “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear, I will help you.” Peter probably new this verse, but at that moment while he was distracted by the world around him, he forgot it. The beautiful thing about Jesus though, He doesn’t quote it to Peter, he demonstrates it by reaching out His hand and lifting him from the water.