Walking by faith
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” NIV
No person in his right mind would get out of a boat and try to walk on water. The law of gravity, and common sense, will tell you that anything heavier than water will sink. These are all scientific laws, tried, tested and proven. That’s why boats and bridges were invented.
But here was Jesus walking on the water, defying the laws of gravity, and of human logic. Quite naturally, the disciples assumed he must have been a ghost. People understand that spirits are not subject to the laws of nature and even scientists today use a different reference framework for studying the paranormal.
But Peter, impetuous and impulsive, challenges Jesus to prove that He is who He says He is by inviting him (Peter) to walk on water. Jesus simply said, “Come.”
One word – an invitation to defy gravity, logic, and reason. Peter had a choice – he could believe in what he knew about the laws of gravity or he could accept the word of the Son of God. For a few moments at least, he believed, and walked on water, but as he walked toward Jesus, he saw the wind and the waves, and reason overcame faith, with predictable consequences.
Can I tell you that the life of a Christian is a constant invitation to walk on water – to trust in a different reality, to believe in something beyond human reason and wisdom. Everything about Jesus – His mission, His message, His methods, His birth, His miracles, His resurrection – contradicts human sophistry. No wonder Jesus is a stumbling block, foolishness to so many (1 Corinthians 1:23).
As Thomas Aquinas put it: “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” Going by reason, it makes no sense at all; by faith, it all falls into place.
Christians have, of course, been accused of being unrealistic but actually we are simply looking at a different reality, a greater reality. We understand the laws of gravity and of physics, etc., but we also know that the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus is the ultimate law of the universe and is over everything else.
Therefore, we put our trust in that word “come” and get out of the boat. By faith, we can do what He says we can do. That’s why we can proclaim victory even though the situation is completely against us. That’s why we can lay hands on the sick and believe for healing. That’s why we can take hold of things that cannot even be seen.
Not surprisingly, our faith is always under attack. Peter found that out the moment he got out of the boat and walked on water. Reason and human understanding, like the wind and the waves, are constantly challenging our faith in that word “come.” And there will always be people around us to say that faith is one thing but we have to be realistic as well.
No, faith is our reality. Faith is everything to a Christian! If we look to the world we sink; if we look to Him, we walk on water.
Jesus still says, “Come.” We can park our faith at the level of mediocrity or live supernatural.