Back on August 13, I preached on the story of Jesus walking on water as told from Matthew’s perspective. (Gospel text below.) That is also the story where Peter walks out on the water towards Jesus.
The picture above is one I took from my time in Israel. The water in the background is the Sea of Galilee where our story takes place. The statue is of Jesus reaching out and Peter on his knees. This location is called the Primacy of Peter and was the site where Jesus asked Peter three times “do you love me?”, followed by each time by Jesus telling Peter to feed his sheep. However, in the context of our Gospel and this sermon it can also gives illustration to Peter sinking and Jesus saving.
I concluded this sermon with some homework! I want to challenge you to give it a try and see what happens.
Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”