Read Matthew 14
Jesus needed time alone. He’d gotten some rough news and needed time to process. So He sent the disciples across the lake, intending to meet up with them later. Then He, went up on a mountainside by himself to pray (v23).
No doubt, it was scary for the disciples that night. With the wind against the boat as it cut through the water in the dark. The disciples had seen Jesus make a feast out of almost nothing just hours before. They’d heard the news, too, that His cousin was dead, the one who’d baptized Jesus Himself. I imagine their hearts were about as tumultuous as the wind-battered water while they rowed across that lake, buffeted by waves and harsh wind.
So when the walking-on-top-of-water-Jesus spoke from under the cloak of night’s darkness, it’s probably safe to assume another type of waves buffeted the disciples’ spirits. Waves of fear-filled adrenaline.
I love Jesus’ immediate response to the disciples’ afraid.
Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid (v27).
He knew they had a lot going on. A lot to fear. So Jesus immediately dispelled it and spoke His Presence right into theirs.
You see, when Jesus is near, fear holds no authority. When He enters the picture, He offers the choice to take misplaced fear and give it to Him. It’s the only way fear can bring forth life.
Peter knows this, so he speaks up from his Jesus-inspired courage.
Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water (v28).
And that’s when impossible happens. It’s when unafraid walks on water and sends fear diving straight to the bottom of the sea of afraid.
It works, too. Peter steps out unafraid, and walks toward Jesus, right on top of water. Straight through the wind. Until one flash of distraction moves his eyes back to his previously misplaced fear.
(W)hen he saw the wind, he was afraid . . . (v30)
And Peter started to sink.
Because the only way to do the impossible unafraid is to fix our eyes, and every ounce of our fear, unmoving, on the One Who holds life in His very hand.
The One Who died, conquered death and its fear, so that you and I could know real life. Unafraid.
*I’ve written a short ebook on living unafraid. A manifesto, if you will. And I would love for you to read it, to find the challenge to really live. Unafraid. Just click here for the download. Then start living. Unafraid.