Walking on water – Bible Studies

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Matthew 14:22-33

In the gospel story, Jesus and Peter walked on water. What is this strange story about? Modern enlightened readers may have some difficulty with the credibility of stories of people walking on water. This could not be true. Although incredible, stories of people walking on water are not that rare. Not long ago, I saw illusionist Chris Angel on “Mindfreak” walk around a pool in Las Vegas. It simply meant that he could put clear plexiglass just below the surface and trick people into thinking he was like Jesus. More recently, British illusionist Dynamo walked the River Thames. I even read that Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, and some of his disciples could walk on water…well, with boards hidden underwater.

There are stories about Buddha walking on water. Even his disciple Sariputta walked on water, but his heart gave out and he began to sink under the turbulent waters. Igniting his faith, he went ahead and reached the shore. Hmm. It seems as if he has heard a story similar to this somewhere before! Then the Buddha taught people to throw off all fetters, cross the river of worldliness, and attain liberation from death. Buddha told people exactly what it meant to walk on water. So what does this story of Jesus and Peter walking on the water mean?

Is the story of Jesus walking on water about him having superpowers? I don’t know many people who can walk on water despite what Randy Travis says about his beloved grandfather. Is Mateo telling this story to prove that Jesus had superpowers like the Marvel Comics superheroes? Stan Lee, who created many of the Marvel comic book superheroes, has a new show called “Superhumans.” Lee commissioned contortionist Daniel Browning Smith to travel the world in search of humans with superhuman abilities. He has interviewed and tested people like India’s Rajmohan Nair, who can take 30 times more electricity into his body than a normal human being, and Darren Taylor, aka Professor Splash, who survived a 36-foot belly drop in a foot of water, creating a world record!
Did Matthew just tell us that Jesus is The Amazing Rabbi River Rambler and deserves a spot in the next episode of “Superhumans”? In Matthew, around the story of Jesus walking on the water, He feeds 5,000 and then another 4,000 with a few loaves and fishes; He heals the sick, a man with a withered hand and two blind men. These are all miracle stories. They point to Jesus as someone with extraordinary, supernatural, and superhuman abilities. Jesus is more than human, but there seems to be more to this story of Jesus walking on water than pointing out that he is more than human, someone with superpowers.

Perhaps this story is about Jesus being the master of the wind and the waves. More than someone with superpowers, Jesus is the Son of God and Owner of the sea. There is a story similar to Jesus walking on water earlier in the Gospel of Matthew. Another storm arises in the Sea of ​​Galilee (something frequent) and the waves flood the boat. Jesus did not walk on water, but he slept like a baby in the tossed boat. The disciples woke up Jesus and shouted that they are dying. Jesus commented on his little faith and rebuked the wind and the sea. They were amazed and wondered what kind of human could make the wind and sea obey him.

That story and this one of Jesus walking on water have similar elements. First, a storm arose at sea; second, the disciples’ boat was tossed by the waves; third, the disciples were afraid; fourth, Jesus commented about his disciples’ lack of faith; fifth, Jesus exhibited power over the sea by calming it or walking on it; finally, the disciples commented on the extraordinary nature of Jesus as more than a mere man or the Son of God.

Both stories point to Jesus as the One who is Owner of the sea, Lord of the wind and the waves. . The sea was more than a place for the disciples to fish. It was believed to be a place of evil and chaos and required a god to control or dominate it. This is the case in Babylonian and Canaanite mythology, as well as in the Bible, in which the sea is like a monster that must be defeated; but Yahweh defeats Leviathan and the sea. The psalmist proclaimed:

“But God has been my King from of old,
performing acts of liberation on earth.
You destroyed the sea with your strength;
You crushed the sea monster heads in the water.
You crushed the heads of Leviathan” (Psalm 74:12-14).

In another Psalm we read:
“O Lord, sovereign God!
Who is strong like You, O Lord?
Your fidelity surrounds you.
You dominate the proud sea.
When their waves stir, you calm them.
You crushed Rahab and killed her;
with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.”

Job reinforced this belief about the chaos monster Rahab and the sea with Yahweh having power over them:
“With His power He stills the sea;
with His wisdom He cut Rahab, the great sea monster, to pieces.
With His breath the heavens became clear;
His hand pierced the fleeing serpent” (Job 26:12-13).

So it would seem from ancient beliefs about the wickedness and chaos of the sea, and Jesus’ actions in these two gospel stories point to Jesus as more than just a human being. Jesus—Yahweh—is Lord of the wind and waves, Sovereign of the sea, Master of evil and chaos. lack of faith? This story is found in different forms in Matthew, Mark, and John. Unique to Matthew is the part where Peter asks Jesus to command him to walk toward Him on the water. Matthew wanted to say something in particular by adding this part of the story.

This is one of those stereotypical representations of Peter: the impetuous and impulsive disciple. Remember how Peter rebuked Jesus for saying that he would be crucified, saying that he would never deny Jesus, but he does; who blurted out something about building altars at the transfiguration; he crossed the line by washing his whole body in a footbath; he grabbed a sword to Jesus ‘arrest and cut off the ear of a slave. So asking Jesus to come out into the water is par for the course. Peter was just being Peter.

Well, here he not only puts his foot in his mouth again, but also on the surface of the sea. I wonder why he wanted to go out into the choppy waters. Did you think the water was shallow enough to wade through and greet Jesus? Wasn’t he just thinking about the fact that humans don’t normally walk on water? Was it just immature curiosity: “If Jesus can do it, then why can’t I?” Did Peter think he could become a master over the chaos, evil and storms in his own life?

Whatever the reason, Peter fearlessly dips his piglets into the bubbling water, one fidgety step and another. He was being held by some power that transcended his normal life. The waves splashed against his legs, soaking his robe, but he paid no attention to the wind or the waves. His eyes were fixed on Jesus.

“Turn your eyes to Jesus,
Look fully into His wondrous face,
And the things of the earth will darken strangely,
In light of His glory and grace.”

Then there is this little problem. Peter felt the strong wind. Fear crept in; chaos stirred his soul; Leviathan dug a sharp claw into his flesh. Peter began to sink. The chaotic sea, the evil ocean, rode up to her ankles, her calves, her knees, her thighs, his waist. The waves crashed against his chest. He could taste the foam. Peter turned his eyes to Jesus and cried out, “Lord, save me!” Have you ever yelled like that?

I wonder if this is a demonstration of the dire consequences of Peter’s impulsive nature. Or does Peter really represent someone who has had his faith tested or has stopped looking at Jesus or is sinking in the sea of ​​sin and sadness and needs to be saved? I wonder.

Do you want to know what I think? I think this story is about Jesus, Lord of the wind and waves, who saves us through the storms and chaos of life. There is a Savior standing there on the waves.

I would like to take us to the moment when Peter began to walk towards Jesus on the water and began to sink under the waves. I want to freeze the frame of that moment and create our own classic painting like so many I’ve seen depicting this gospel story.

Paint this image on the canvas of your mind. A furious storm is raging on the Sea of ​​Galilee. Dark clouds wrap the sea like a cape. Streaks of falling rain color the gray sky. The waves rise like mountains and carve out deep valleys. Strong winds blow the foam off the top of the waves. A small wooden boat full of disciples slides into the roller coaster sea. Jesus walks calmly on the surface of the sea, his robe and hair fluttering in the wind. His strong arm reaches out toward a shadowy figure waist-deep in foam, but it’s not Peter. Who is this sinking soul? Could it be one of us?

I see in our painting someone who has struggled through this economic downturn trying to keep his head above water. Dark shadows surround his eyes. He maybe he lost his job or is barely making ends meet. She finds it difficult to maintain his faith in God, in life, or in anyone else as a sea of ​​bills spills out.

In our painting, someone’s ship has been rocking, and this person wants to get out of it. She experienced a sinking feeling when the doctor entered the exam room and said that his health was not on solid ground. Waves of mortality crashed against the rocks of her soul.

In another corner of our painting, a new follower of Jesus has stepped out of her boat of safety and wants to walk closer to Jesus. She seems to have gotten involved in a community service ministry and found herself up to her neck in other people’s problems: “How can I solve these people’s problems, much less my own?”

We feel like we are going to drown, so we cry out for help, and an invisible hand reaches out and pulls us out of a sea of ​​trouble. A storm in our lives, a watery grave, and suddenly we are saved; and we want to shout, “Thank you, Jesus!” Do you get the picture?

Christ has the power to extend a hand to anyone who is afraid, who ventures out of the boat, caught in the storms of life, sinking beneath the waves. Christ is Owner of the sea, Lord of the wind and the waves!

I remember Eddie Mesa, a water walker known as “the Elvis Presley of the Philippines.” He was a handsome singer, a movie star…

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