What the heck just happened? Or, what was that all about? When you read about Jesus, you may find yourself scratching your head, asking that kind of question. Good! If you want to get the most out of Jesus, you have to ask. Because Jesus frequently used object lessons, where there was more to be learned in what just happened than there was in what He said. Here’s a good example:
“During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord,
if (since) it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.” (Matthew 14:25-32 – I’ve changed “if” to “since” in v. 28 for clarity)
What was that all about? What just happened? One obvious lesson is this: When Jesus asks the impossible, keep your focus on Jesus, not on all the scary things that hinder you. Jesus let Peter learn that truth through what happened to him. Jesus underlined the principle with what He said to Peter:
…“You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”” (Matthew 14:31b)
That important principle, is repeated in the Book of Hebrews:
” Therefore, …, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. [How can we do that?] Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, ….” (Hebrews 12:1-2 – excerpts plus my question in brackets)
Jesus frequently asks or motivates us to do things considered impossible in the world. Impossible things like forgiving. There are times that forgiveness seems as impossible as walking on water. But, when you fix your eyes on Jesus, and not on all the hurt, when you allow faith to push aside doubt, you can walk across that impossible “water,” you can walk toward Jesus.
That’s just one example. When Jesus asks the impossible, do what Peter did. Call out to Jesus and say, “Lord, since it is You, tell me to do the right thing, the thing that looks so impossible.” Then trust. Likely, you will be amazed, as were His disciples on that windy night:
“And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”” (Matthew 14:32-33)
Quotes: The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.