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Jesus Walks On Water – Part 1

By Shane Johnson

In this remarkable story from Matthew 14, Jesus walks on water. At the outset of the story, we see Jesus calming the storm that has sprung up on Lake Galilee. As Shane Johnson explains, both these miracles have relevance for our salvation and our daily walk with God . To read part 2 of the story, click here.

Shane is a regular contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio  through his program entitled “Christ Up Close.”  

Jesus Takes The Initiative

Peter experienced Christ’s initiative in salvation firsthand.  A mini-hurricane had threatened to take the lives of the Apostles when they were out on a boat in the middle of the night in the middle of the sea, in what must have felt like the middle of nowhere.  Christ, miles from shore, took the initiative to come to their rescue.  It may have taken Him an hour or so just to get to the boat if He was walking at a normal pace.  But Christ is never in a hurry.  He has been neither late nor early.  His timing is perfect.

His arrival in the fourth watch of the night coincided with the exact moment they were at their wit’s end.  God always likes to show up when we are at our wit’s end, for at our wit’s end, our wit ends and we are most open to learn what only God can do for us.  One more wave and they were sure they were going to capsize.  Had not Jesus taken the initiative when He did to go out to them, maybe they would have.  But they were not to die that night.

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Jesus Walks on Water

The storm had worked its magic.  The senses of the disciples were sufficiently heightened and their prayers desperate.  We are most teachable when we are most vulnerable.  The most lasting lessons are the life threatening ones.  The storm provided an opportunity for God to show Himself greater in the apostles’ eyes.  When you and I face the storms of our own lives it still provides God the opportunity to show Himself greater than what we previously had thought.  Before they had observed Jesus hush a howling storm into silence.  Never had they seen Him walk on water.  They had seen the wind and waves obey Him but now they were about to see the wind and waves obey them.  Who can tell what would have happened had Peter kept his eyes on Jesus and kept walking?

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It was Peter who experienced a double portion of the Lord’s deliverance that day.  Christ not only took the initiative to rescue the disciples from the storm but He also provided the context for Peter to experience His sustaining power.  Because Christ walked on the water, Peter felt bold enough to ask if he could walk on the water too.  Sometimes we give Peter a hard time for his impulsiveness but in this case his spontaneous thought gave birth to a tremendous act of faith.  May we all be as impulsive as Peter when it comes to recklessly trusting what Jesus can do.

Saving Power

Because he was quote-on-quote “crazy” enough to trust Christ in the storm, because he was quote-on-quote “foolish” enough to think that he could walk on the water like Christ, Peter experienced the saving power of Christ over the circumstances of life.  Many of us have experienced the saving power of Christ for the forgiveness of sins, when we first trusted that He died for us on the cross, but not so many of us have experienced His saving power over the circumstances of life.  For that to happen, it takes radical faith in the face of bullying circumstances.  It takes place when fear threatens to undo us.  It takes place when resources abandon us and we are left alone.  It takes place when we come up against indomitable mountains that cannot be moved by human hands.

But because he took Christ at His Word when He told Peter to “Come,” Peter experienced the double saving power of Christ in the storm.  Some of us have only experienced the saving power of Christ on the cross and know nothing of the saving power of Christ in the storm.

Read Part 2 here.

Shane Johnson

You can listen to pod casts from Shane Johnson’s show, “Christ Up Close,” by clicking here.

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Images Courtesy of:

Christ Walks On Water: Amédée Varin

Large Wave: NeuPaddy

Lake Galilee: Merkaz Lehava Shfaram 

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