“What does God want to make possible”: meditation on Matthew 14:28-30

June 24, 2019

Matthew 14:28-30And 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 and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”

Some recent Christian interpreters criticize Peter in this scripture for being impulsive and foolhardy. Jesus, they say, disapproves of Peter’s actions—even though Peter is literally doing what Jesus commands him to do.

Personally, I refuse to criticize Peter for risking his life to obey Jesus.

Besides, I wonder if these commentators who criticize Peter aren’t doing so for another reason: a lack of faith. They simply don’t believe we should ask Jesus for anything that requires a miracle on God’s part to fulfill! If it takes a supernatural event for God to answer our request, then we’re asking too much! We should instead be like the other eleven disciples and remain in the boat: “It’s safer here. It’s more comfortable. Besides, look the wind! Look at those powerful waves! We’ll drown if we leave this boat! I mean, sure… Jesus is telling us it’s O.K., but what are we supposed to do? Take him at his word? Believe what he tells us? Or trust ourselves—because, after all, we know more than he does?” 

I’m preaching to myself. When confronted with a problem, I usually ask, “What is possible given this set of circumstances?” (Never mind that “with God all things are possible”!)

Dear God, give me faith to look at a problem and say, “What does God want to make possible?”

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