Introduction

In the previous post we have explored the 5th miracle of Jesus in the book of John. It was Jesus walking on water. The miracle is recorded in the Jn 6:16-20.

So far we have drew the conclusion and understand the need of worshipping the true God. We have also discussed about meeting the storms in life.

Now let us take a look at the other teachings we can learn from this miracle.

Looking At Peter In The Water

The Gospel of Matthew recorded one additional story that happened. It shared that Peter was walking on the sea as well.

“Lord, if it is You, command me to
  come to You on the water.”- Peter (Matt 14:28-31)

Peter saw Jesus walking on water, so he made this request to Jesus. It appears as if Peter had greater faith than the others, for no one dared to make such request to Jesus. Undeniably Peter is one with courage and faith, for he believed that Jesus could make him walk on water. Jesus did not complain about his curiosity and gave him the permission to come.

A Faith With Obedience

Let us consider another scenario, what  if Peter just tell himself in his heart “I have the faith Jesus will allow it” and he proceeded to step out of the boat. He would have sink immediately. For he cannot act without the approval of Jesus.

It is true that we must have faith in Jesus, but it doesn’t negate the fact that we need his agreement before taking actions. For if we act without his approval, it will not be good. For the action is a result of a faith based on ourselves not a faith based on Jesus.

This is a mistake found in many Christians. Often they feel that something ought to be done, and they prayed about it till their faith breaks. Then they allow unbelief and doubt to come into their mind and they went on to say that “The Promises Of The Bible is fake”. They even quoted the words of Jesus “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

Many a times we focus so much on one verse and we neglect the other verses from the bible. Indeed there is this verse written in the bible

And if we know that He hears us,
  whatever we ask, we know that we
  have the petitions that we have
  asked of Him.: – John (1 Jn 5:15)

If we believe in this, we will know that Jesus hears our prayer. But then why is it that we do not receive what we ask for? Let us consider the verse before that

“Now this is the confidence that we
  have in Him, that if we ask anything
  according to His will, He hears us.” – John (1 Jn 5:14) 

It is true that we need to have confidence whenever we pray in faith. But we need to ask according to his will. For if our request goes against his teaching, he will not agree to it.

Understanding The Meaning Of “Asking According TO  His Will”

Now let us consider a practical case scenario

We believe that God can raise the dead and now our loved one is sick unto death. So we kneel down and pray, and we tell ourselves not to stop until Jesus had healed him.

So is that an act of  great faith? Is that our will or the will of God?

We know that God will is to save man and take him back to heaven, at the same time we know that if God will that he should continue living he will heal him. Sometimes we need to understand that there are instances where the will of God is to allow someone to pass away.

King David understood it when he prayed to God when his son that was dying. While his son was alive he prayed for him daily and he ignored everything around him. When the child died his followers was afraid that David would be broken completely.

But yet David return to his palace as if all is normal. For he understood that Gods will it to be so. He will not force his will upon God.

If Christians cannot understand this, they risk losing their faith. Let us learn from the fact that Peter acted only when Jesus gave him the permission to.

Answering the Question “Why Then Did Peter Sink?”

But another question may have pop into our mind at this point of time. Since Peter acts according to the instruction of Jesus, why then did he sink?  Interestingly when Jesus pulled him out from the water, Peter did not dare to push the blame to Jesus for allowing him to sink.

Why is that so? Most likely Peter understood that the problem lies with him, for Jesus asked him “Why did you doubt?”

Dispelling The Misconception Of The Waves Becoming Great

The more we examine the scriptures, we would wonder “Why did Peter doubt?” 

One thing is for sure, Peter did not doubt the fact that Jesus can give him the power to walk on water. That is why he had the courage to get down from the boat and that is the reason why he can walk on the water initially. But the record of Matthew tells us

“But when he saw that the wind was boisterous,
 
he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out,
  saying, “Lord, save me!””- Matthew (Matt 14:30)

Some Christians had the misconception that the wind and waves are not so strong at the point Peter got out of the boat. We used that as the reason why Peter was unafraid when he got out of the bottom. Then we proceed to explain that the waves became stronger and it worries Peter. That is why we claim that the problem doesn’t lie with Peter but because God made it hard for him.

Even in our lives we push the blame to God when we are in trouble. We said that we could handle small temptations, but the ones we are facing us are too great so we cannot overcome it.

This misconception when it is full blown, will lead us to wonder “If God is omniscient and he knew that Peter will doubt eventually. Why did he shame Peter by getting him to come up in the first place?”

Jesus did not did this to shame Peter, but rather he wanted Peter to be able to see his own faith.

If Peter were to sink now, it is still alright as Jesus is there to pull him up, and he can still change and improve. Therefore it is more important for Peter to understand that his faith is not as strong as he think. With that knowledge, he can build a faith that is truly faith. That will be faith that is a acknowledged by God.

Having The Right Faith That Saves

So are there faith that is not acknowledged by God? Could that even be possible?

We can see many Christians with much faith, and they did so much in the name of God . Why then is their faith not acknowledged?

The Book Of Matthew talks about Christians with such faith.

“‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied
   in Your name, cast out demons in
   Your name, and done many wonders
   in Your name?’”- Matthew (Matt 7:22)

These people were all with faith that no one could deny. For they can prophesy in his name and they could perform miracles. These are the things we feel are proofs for their faith. But over here Jesus rejected them, he did not know them and their faith was not acknowledged. Jesus also said  in Matt 7:21 that not everyone who calls him “Lord Lord” will enter his kingdom, only those who does the will of God will be recognised.

Only those who does the will of God will be recognised by him. Therefore it is pointless to perform thousands of miracles if it is not according to the will of God.

Yet we defend ourselves saying “Isn’t it Gods will for his children to preach the gospel, to cast out demons and to perform miracles?”

Indeed they are the will of God. But what about the other commands of Jesus? What about his instruction to be baptised for sins to be forgiven, and to receive the promised Holy Spirit?  What about following the commandments of God and to lead a life free of sin?

Today many churches who ignores doctrines for they feel that it is the reason for split the church. That is why they only talk about the love of Christ to to love one another. They are indeed the commands of Jesus, but can we ignore the other commands?

“teaching them to observe all things that
  I have commanded you; and lo, I am with
  you always, even to the end of the age.” – Jesus (Matt 28 :20)

We need to listen to all that Jesus commanded than he will be with us always

The Waves That Always Have Been Strong

We read from the bible that Peter sank because he saw the strong waves . That is why we think that the waves are small initially and it became huge. This is because of the verse in Matt 14:30

But John gave us a different story

“Then the sea arose because a
  great wind was blowing.” –John (Jn 6:18)

It is not true that the waves became larger as Peter was walking, Peter had already seen the waves when Jesus called out to him to get out of the boat. The waves were already strong when Peter began walking.

So why did he sink? If so, What is the problem?

When Peter first step out of the boat, he only saw Jesus walking on water. He believed that Jesus could make him walk and he kept on to that faith even though the winds are strong.

When Jesus first commanded him to come forward, he saw Jesus and not the waves. But as he walk towards Jesus, he saw the waves and not Jesus. As the result he was afraid. Today if we only focus on the waves around us, it is natural for us to be afraid.

But the truth is, the winds and waves hade always been strong and it was always blowing against us. And when look at the same wave with doubts  they will appear bigger than they really are. If we choose to only look at the waves, we will become fearful naturally. But if we we choose to focus on Jesus who is walking on the water, then there will be no fear. 

Conclusion

Therefore let us not murmur because the great winds are blowing, for the truth is that the winds and waves had always been that boisterous. It will only appear larger when we choose to look at it only.

But if we choose to focus on Jesus, there will be no fear

Therefore no matter what storms we encounter in life, let us not be afraid. Let us choose to listen to the words of Jesus “Be of Good Cheer It is I; do not be afraid.”

We may find this difficult for we know that we cannot walk on water. But Jesus could walk on water, and he can pull Peter out from the water. If we allow Jesus onto our ship he will always be willing to help us.

Jesus did help Peter and brought him safely back to the ship.

Let us focus on Jesus and not the winds, then we will never fear and we will always be of a good cheer. For Jesus could walk on water and we only need to turn our eyes upon Jesus.

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