Matthew 14:29-31 – “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” NIV
It had been a great day of ministry for Jesus and His followers. It didn’t begin well because it started with them learning about the death of John the Baptist at the hands of Herod the tetrarch because of a promise to his dancing step daughter. Jesus got into a boat and went off to a “solitary place,” but the crowds followed and Jesus ministered and taught them out of compassion. Before He sent them off, He told the disciples to give them something to eat. They produced what they could find from among the crowd…5 loaves and 2 fish. Jesus took what they found, blessed it, and began breaking it up for them to distribute to a crowd of 5,000 men, not counting the women and children. When they were finished, He had them gather the leftovers which consisted of 12 basketfuls! They had more remaining after feeding all those people than when they began!
Jesus told the disciples to get into the boat and take off to the other side while He dismissed the crowd and then went off to pray. They probably wondered how Jesus was going to get there, but they obediently did as He asked. When Jesus finished praying, He began walking on the water toward the boat load of disciples who were having quite a time of getting to where they were going. When they saw Jesus, they were terrified believing Him to be a ghost or apparition. He assured them of who He was, and Peter had the faith or audacity enough to challenge Jesus by saying, “Lord, if it is you, ask me to come.” Which Jesus did. And Peter responded by getting out of the boat and joining Jesus walking on the water.
Peter did fine until He took his eyes off Jesus and started noticing the storm around him. He then began to sink. It is then that Jesus reach out and caught Peter and asked Him the question, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Peter had seen great things that day, and he had personally experienced things that the other disciples would never experience; but he took his eyes off Jesus and was terrified by the storm around him.
How do we let the storm around us distract us from focusing on Jesus? What helps us keep our focus on Jesus? What storm is currently blurring your focus on Jesus? What steps do you need to take to refocus on Jesus, His love for you, and His ability to walk with you through the storms of life? You might want to read Hebrews 12:1 ff. for more encouragement and help in focusing on Jesus.