The life and ministry of Peter. (Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21)
God wants to take you as you are, teach you what He wants and transform you into what is best for your life. He does not want you to be idle, or to be aimless, or to be bored. From Matthew’s gospel let us see what
happened to Peter once he was on the way with Jesus.
Jesus Christ purposed the events of his life
It says in verse 22: ‘Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him’ (italics mine). The disciples learned by watching Jesus feed
a huge crowd from a boy’s picnic lunch. We can watch Jesus as we read the gospel narratives. They also learned as they listened to what Jesus said. He was teaching them about their new way of life. He gave them special understanding (13:11). Jesus wants us to learn by obeying the commands He gives us. He told the disciples to leave the place of the
miracle and to sail across the south-eastern end of the lake. All the
events that followed happened because the disciples listened. If they
had not listened they would have been destroyed by disobedience. A
disciple is one who disciplines himself to doing what he is told to do.
Three-and-a-half miles out on the lake, buffeted by wind and waves, the
only security the disciples had was that they had been sent there by
The disciples supposed Jesus was a ghost (14:26)
When the Creator God suspends His own laws of creation, the result is a
miracle. Peter and the others may have been buffeted by the wind, but
they were terrified when they saw Jesus walk on the water. Their
suppositions were wrong. There was confusion. Is this Jesus or a ghost?
Is this a miracle or a mystical trick? Am I kidding myself? Can I really
see anything? Many people experience confusion around their
Christianity. Do not worry. Seek to hear Jesus’ voice. There was a call
from the lips of Jesus (v.27). There can be no missing a clear call and
there should be no messing about in response. Peter had an invitation.
Jesus said, ‘Come.’
The implication of that was: ‘Do you have the faith to come, Peter?’ An
immediate response was called for and good old Peter jumped over the
side! See Peter’s faith – he was forgetting human logic and reason, and
fixing his objective on getting to Jesus Christ.
Peter opposed his natural law and feelings
From inside the boat he saw Jesus. From outside the boat he saw the
wind and the waves. The wind and the waves were there before, but
somehow they took on a new dimension when he found himself alone and
facing them. Because of his fear, and his foolishness in taking his eyes
off the Lord, Peter found himself drowning, but he knew where to go in
time of trouble – he cried to the Lord. I reckon the fish jumped in fear at
that desperate shout! Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter.
Do not worry, young Christian, Jesus Christ will always rescue the disciple
who is stepping out for Him. He never leaves us alone. We are never
beyond His reach. I once remember struggling to hold a heavy box of
groceries in a lift going up to our apartment. Eventually I dropped them
but the strange thing was that they still kept on going up to the eighth
floor where we lived. Although I could not hold them, something much
bigger than me was taking them and me to our destination.
Jesus is greater than any lift!
Jesus Christ purposed a lesson of faith (v.31)
Jesus asked the disciples why they doubted. Peter knew the
circumstances; he knew himself; he knew the Saviour, but through this
experience he came to know all three better. Verse 33 says that he and
the others worshipped Jesus saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.’ Are
you born again? Are you beginning your Christian walk or are you still
sitting at the start? Are you battling for Jesus?
Discussion guide for ‘Stepping out with Jesus’
Bible reading Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21
1. Following Jesus is not always easy or comfortable. Having just
witnessed a wonderful miracle, Matthew 14:19-21, how do you think
the disciples felt in their boat on the lake, verse22-24?
2. What reasons can you think of for Peter not getting out of the
3. What helped him take the plunge (if you’ll pardon the expression)
and step over the side, verses 27-29?
4. What sometimes stops you from taking a step of faith in following
Jesus? Share your experiences. How can this be overcome?
5. The experiences of being afraid, taking a step of faith, and then
faltering, all taught the disciples valuable lessons. What do you
think they learned? Pay some attention to verse 33.
6. Make some time to listen to God by yourself. What do you believe
God is calling you to be and to do? What is stopping you?