Online Bible Commentary
You of Little Faith
Matthew 14:25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." 28 And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." 29 So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (NKJV)
Jesus was walking on the lake (v. 25b), the Sea of Galilee, to some of His disciples sitting in a boat. It was between 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. (v. 25a), still dark on the lake, and the boat was being buffeted by high waves (v. 30).
At first the disciples think that they are seeing a ghost, for what man can walk on water (v. 26a)? “They cried for fear” (v. 26b), but, recognizing their fear, Jesus immediately comforts them by identifying Himself (v. 27). But Peter, wanting more evidence, answers "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water” (v. 28).
Jesus responds “come”, so Peter gets out of the boat to come to Jesus (v. 29a). He is actually walking on the water for a few steps as he keeps his eyes on Jesus (v. 29b).
Then the scripture says that Peter “saw that the wind was boisterous” (v. 30a). Well we all know that you can’t actually see the wind. You only see the effects of the wind, whatever is being blown. In a dark lake Peter could only see a few feet.
Thus what Peter sees are the waves lapping at his feet and, in order to see that, he has to look down and take his eyes off of Jesus. As soon as he takes his eyes off of Jesus, he loses faith, becomes afraid, and begins to sink (v. 30b).
Peter then cries out to Jesus "Lord, save me!" (v. 30c), and Jesus immediately stretches out His hand and catches him (v. 31a). Jesus then rebukes Peter saying "O you of little faith, why did you doubt" (v. 31b)?
Doubt came to Peter because of his lack of faith. Then his doubt turned to fear. Then he began to sink. Sound familiar?
Peter’s lack of faith came about because he saw the circumstances as being greater than Jesus. He took his eyes off of Jesus. There is no circumstance that is greater than Jesus.
Jesus has defeated Satan, and He has defeated death on the cross. He, literally, can walk on water. He is greater than any circumstance that we will ever encounter.
Peter’s experience is a good lesson for us all. As long as we focus on Jesus we can do all things. However, when we take our eyes off of Him and focus only on our circumstances, we will sink every time.
We want to be realistic and be aware of our circumstances, but we never want to dwell on our circumstances. They will pull us down every time. Instead we should dwell on the solution, Jesus Christ!
We all experience the storms of life. It is our job to remain calm within the storm, while always trusting Jesus. He will never let us drown. He will always reach down and save us, if we keep our faith.