One of my favorite Bible stories is found (among other places) in Matthew 14. It is the story of Jesus walking on water. That’s what we all think of it as anyway.
So Jesus sends the disciples out onto the lake in their boat. He stays on the shore and prays, then he walks on the water out to them in the evening. The disciples think that it is a ghost (which is totally reasonable for someone walking on water) and Jesus assures them that there is no need to be afraid because it’s Him.
This is a cool story right there, it doesn’t need anything else to happen but there is more. Peter, the loudest and boldest of the disciples says, “If it’s really you, Lord, then tell me to walk out on the water with you!”
Jesus obliges and Peter becomes the second person to walk on water. But just like you or I would do Peter looks at the waves and gets nervous, and he takes his eyes off of Jesus and begins to sink. Then he yells for Jesus to help him and Jesus obliges again. He grabs his hand and the two of them get back in the boat.
This gets preached about in a way that mocks Peter for his failed water walk. But we never even mention the eleven disciples who saw Jesus granting Peter the ability to walk on water and kept their mouths shut and stayed in the boat.
When I let either of my kids do something fun or cool the other one instantly calls for me to let them do it too. But these disciples let what was most likely fear keep them from venturing out, even when Jesus was literally standing right there to keep them safe.
Our world is full of danger, toils, and snares that are far more worrisome than waves. But Jesus is far greater than just a water walker! The church and the world needs people like you and me to step out of the boat and walk and live by faith.
If you aren’t seeing miraculous things happening around you, could the reason be that you aren’t taking any risks that require miracles? Jesus didn’t do any miracles for the eleven silent fearful disciples, but he did two for the one who stepped up. The first miracle was letting Peter walk on water. The second miracle was saving him when he fell.
Jesus is not done doing miracles, but he needs people willing to get out of the boat for the miracles to be necessary. Remember when the people asked Jesus why he was doing miracles he always explained that the purpose was to bring glory to God. If we aren’t doing things that have the potential to glorify God then we’ve got no right or reason to ask for a miracle.
Jeremy Alger is the pastor of the New Cumberland Church of the Nazarene. They meet in person and online every Sunday. You can also watch their services on Ruko, search for New Cumberland to find our channel. For more information please visit www.newcumberlandnazarene.com