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51. Stepping out with Jesus

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?


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