WALKING ON WATER

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“Come”, he said. Then Peter got down or of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (Matthew 14:29)

 

Walking on water is a physically impossible feat, yet in this story we see both Jesus and Peter walking on water. Several lessons may be gleaned from this incident.

 

For the disciples who were straining at the oars and struggling to keep the boat afloat, the presence of Jesus was a necessity. It was also a necessity for Jesus who was far away on the shore to get to them. And walking on the water would have been an easy way to get there—-if walking on water was a usual thing to do.

 

Walking on water is physically impossible because the weight of a man will take him down. It is the vertical positioning during walking that is incompatible with staying afloat. For one who knows how to swim, staying afloat is very much possible without sinking. However that involves the whole body being in water and on level with the water surface. But walking is a different ball game all together because the entire body is above the water surface. So unless the physical forces that act on a vertical human body on the water surface are re-aligned in a miraculous way, sinking would be a natural sequel.

 

The act of Jesus in accomplishing that no doubt involved a re-alignment of the physical forces permitting him to stay afloat with his feet on the water.  The Bible is  replete with stories of how physical forces are miraculously altered by the spiritual forces that men of God commanded. In Jesus’ case, the miraculous was almost routine. It was truly no surprise that the wind died down as Jesus entered the boat. The greater your ability to tap into the spiritual forces that ultimately govern and uphold the physical world we see around us, the greater you ability to experience miracles in your daily life.

 

Far too often we are severely limited by what we have experienced or seen around us. We limit our minds to what can be accomplished. We neither have the inclination to start nor the faith to progress on the ‘impossible’. Yet, to Peter’s credit, he was willing to ask Jesus to help him walk on the water. And he did! There sure would have been an element of the accompaniment that Jesus’ provided in his effort to walk successfully on water, but we need to credit Peter’s faith and his ability to think beyond what was possible. In contrast, it did not take long for Peter to start sinking when his faith was overwhelmed by his fears, and doubts raised by his inability to discount the raging wind and waters.

 

The proximity of Jesus, the willingness of Jesus and the faith of Peter accomplished, albeit for a short moment, something truly amazing. And as Peter later took up the challenge to lead the church, what a great encouragement this moment must have been for him and for his ministry. ‘Impossibilities’ are within reach; and much of the adventure of a Christian life is experiencing them.

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