So many life lessons can be learned from Jesus and the disciples’ experience on the Sea of Galilee.
The region of the Sea of Galilee was notorious for sudden, violent windstorms. Even seasoned boatmen like the fisherman disciples were at times strayed by the “contrary” winds of these storms. In these ancient times people of the middle east viewed the seas as a fearsome mix of tumult and dark, foreboding, scary depths, with sea monsters. Also, they believed the ghosts of people who perished at sea could appear especially in the night storm and fog. Therefore, the disciples had much fear when they saw Jesus walking on the water. They were thinking it was a ghost. Jesus therefore comforted them with the words, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” At these words the impetuous and impulsive Peter answers, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to You on the water.” I am aware of interpreters who said this request was foolish and childish of Peter. If it was childish and foolish, I think Jesus would have dealt with that. But, Jesus said, “Come!”
There’s a reason Jesus chose this impetuous and impulsive personality to, of all things, be the leader of the apostles. Jesus knew that when it comes to stepping out in risky places for the Lord, the majority of us, like the rest of the disciples, want to stay in the boat.
Once, when I was encountering turbulence (contrary winds) in my journey, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Mark, I walk on this stuff.” I was greatly encouraged to walk with Him, putting “this stuff” under our feet. Interestingly, during our recent Wednesday night study on Romans, we discovered what dominion means when Paul said, “…sin shall not have dominion over you.” (Romans 6:14) Dominion in Greek means, “to rule, (lord), master over” and related term in the Hebrew means “to tread down” as under the feet.
Now think of the human foot. Without at least a plank, or in our day a surfboard, the foot cannot bear our weight and keep us afloat at the same time. Of course, that’s why Jesus and Peter walked on water miraculously. Jesus supplied the power for Peter. Likewise, Jesus supplies power for all our weak feet to walk on the tumult. We will not be swallowed up nor perished by it.
Are we experiencing turbulence, storm, and tumult? With our eyes fixed on Jesus, we can walk on this stuff.