In The Dark
“After sending the people away, he went up a hill by himself to pray. When evening came, Jesus was there alone; and by this time the boat was far out in the lake, tossed about by the waves, because the wind was blowing against it. Between three and six o’clock in the morning Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the water. When they saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and screamed with fear. Jesus spoke to them at once. “Courage!” he said. “It is I. Don’t be afraid!” Then Peter spoke up. “Lord, if it is really you, order me to come out on the water to you.” “Come!” answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he was afraid and started to sink down in the water. “Save me, Lord!” he cried. At once Jesus reached out and grabbed hold of him and said, “What little faith you have! Why did you doubt?” They both got into the boat, and the wind died down.” Matthew 14:23-32
Jesus went up on the hills to pray. He spent allot of time away from the disciples praying. The disciples stayed in the boat. It was the Fourth watch. The Jewish day began at sundown. The Jewish timetable had 12-hour days divided into 4 watches. The fist watch is 6-9 PM. The second watch is from 9 PM -12AM. The third watch is from 12 AM – 3AM. The fourth watch is from 3 AM to 6 PM/Sunrise. Jesus appeared to the disciples on the fourth watch. The Sea of Galilee was known for having raging storms. The sea is about 13 miles long and 7 miles wide. It is 150 feet deep. It is 680 feet below sea level. The sea is surrounded by mountain that causes great down drafts. It is susceptible to storms. The water can quickly turn into violent raging seas from the wind and thunderstorms. However, it is rare for the storm to come on the Sea of Galilee at night. I believe that God allowed it to show his glory. The storm becomes a part of the miraculous supernatural event recorded. In your dark night ,storm can rise, but God is still in control. The sea was known to be calm at one moment and then raging suddenly. It is like our lives in many ways. Our lives can turn from clam to disruption quickly. . That is why we need the savior than can calm the storms in our lives.
It was dark and the disciples could not see the surrounding shores. Jesus was supposed to be in the hills praying. They were afraid. It was very dark on the sea that nights. There are no streetlights to light the night. Sometimes we can fill surrounded by darkness with no light. Fear can easily set in. The disciples saw Jesus walking on the water. Jesus is the light of the world. They were terrified and thought he was a ghost. So many times when we are going through something, we mistake his presence for the unknown and are terrified of how he decided to show himself. They were afraid of what they saw so Jesus spoke to them to calm them down. If you can only imagine the fear they felt. His soothing voice calmed them down. When Jesus speak even if we cannot see or recognize him, his voice can sooth our fears. He gives us his word to comfort us to let us know it him. He has a way of reassuring us that he is there. Even without seeing him, we know his voice! He calms our fears!
Peter spoke boldly asking if he could come out to him. Peter was in a boat in a storm that was violent and requested to walk out to Jesus. He trusts Jesus more than the storm. He trusts the voice he heard more than the rain and wind pounding the boat. We have to trust him to step out on faith in the storms! He was in pure faith mode. He asks the Lord if it was really him then to order him to come out to him on the water. What is interesting is that he wanted Jesus to order him to come out. He knew he would not fail him in that obedience to faith. There are times when we want straight direction from God in the storm to walk out in faith to him. Jesus simply said, “Come”. The authority that Jesus walked in is noted throughout the gospels. He uses words with command and authority that was supernatural. The Pharisee constantly ponders how he would speak the word with such great authority. He used that authority on Peter when he told him simply to come out on the water on his word. There is no scripture that reflect Peter ever question that command. Peter never question Jesus at that moment. He obeyed and stepped out of the boat. He is walking in the stormy water toward Jesus. The moment he began to notice the strong winds it is over for his walk. He became afraid and began to sink. The bible does not say that the wind over took him or that he was pushed by the storm. He notice the winds. His mind took over and fear set in. We can over think thing to the point that we lose our grip on faith. It would have been easily to notice the wind concerning the reality of Peter’s situation. However, he started out right with his eye of Jesus. Many times, we start in the spirit and end up in the flesh. We start out focus on Jesus and end up afraid because of the storm we are facing. We notice the winds.
Peter, in the dark of night in the storm water-walking yelled out to Jesus “Save me!” He made is request know before Jesus. He cried out for to be saved from the water. He got himself into this situation because he started in pure faith trusting Jesus, but got distracted by the storm. It was the fact he notice the wind that cause him to sink in the water. I always wonder how fast he began to sink? Maybe he was sinking with the level of faith that slowly evaporated as he notices more of the winds. He did not go under. He just began to sink. I think that is God’s grace that we sink, but do not drown. He starts to sink down in the storm but he was not drowned to death. How amazing is that. That is God’s grace. There are many storm I have faced I should have just drown. The faith I had to hold is just enough to keep me from sinking. But not drown.
Jesus reached out and grabbed hold of him. That reflects on him grabbing more than his hand. It said he grabbed hold of Peter. Jesus grabbed the whole of who we are to rescue us. He loves us enough to make sure we are truly saved from sinking the whole man. Jesus then told Peter he had little faith. He asked him why he doubted him. What is amazing that Jesus said he had little faith even though he walked out to him and notice the wind before sinking. If a reflection of how in little faith what Peter did. He walked on water. Imagine what we could do in great faith as Jesus suggested. Walking on water may have turned into another greater miracle that night for all we know. Peter faith was not enough to walk the whole distance to Jesus… Nevertheless, he did walk on water for a short while.
Finally, the word said that they got back in the boat. Jesus grabbed hold of Peter and they got in the boat. If Peter walked out to Jesus then Jesus must have assisted him while holding him to walk back to the boat. They walked back to the boat…. That is deep! Jesus will walk us back to safety even when our faith fails. He got back in the boat with Peter. In reality Jesus could have kept walking. He could have walked on to shore. But he walked Peter back to the boat and got in the boat with him. Jesus gets in the boat of life with us. He endures the storm with us in life. He ensure our safely. In the dark of night during the fourth watch a miracle on the water, happen. Jesus is now with us every hour of the day because he is resurrected. He is lord over all the watches. He Lives! In addition, as we pray and walk in faith, he will always walk us back to the boat in the storms of life. Even when our faith fails, he is there. In the storm of life, he even has the power to speak to our storm “Peace is still”. Jesus spoke to the wind and they died down. He can speak to the wind in your life. They did not ask him to do that ,but he knew their fears. He did was needed to be done for them to be at peace. God is always ahead of us doing what we need without our request to see that we are okay.
In Mark 6: 48 version of the event, it says that he saw that the disciples were having problems rowing because of the storm. Jesus can see we are struggling with issues and will come to our rescue. We are blessed to have a savior that will anticipate our need even before we make request. In our storm s, Jesus sees what we will go through before we get in the storm. In the dark of night, he sees our situation. He sees the storm before they hit. He is faithful to rescues us from the things we cannot see. He has given us faith also to walk out in the storm without sinking, as we believe. Pray for him to keep you in the storms. Walk on water in your storm! He will there with you no matter what time of day you need him!
“He saw that his disciples were straining at the oars, because they were rowing against the wind; so sometime between three and six o’clock in the morning, he came to them, walking on the water. He was going to pass them by…” Mark 6: 48