July 26, 2015
Ghost on the Water
In this message, taken from Matthew 14:22-33, Andy looks at the popular story of Jesus walking on water. The sight of him walking on top of the stormy sea terrified the disciples, and they all thought that he was a ghost. When Jesus offered assurance that he wasn’t a ghost, they were faced with the choice of trusting him or not. Should they let this ghost who claims to be Jesus into the boat?
Peter, as he often does, spoke first. He wasn’t totally convinced that Jesus wasn’t a ghost, so he put Jesus to the test. “Lord, if it’s you,” he said, “tell me to come to you on the water.” If you stop to think about it, this request is two things: hilarious, but also full of doubt. Peter doesn’t ask to walk on water because he believes it really is Jesus; he asks to walk on water because he doubts. He thinks there’s a decent chance that may actually be a ghost on the water.
We often think that asking God to make us walk on water is an act of great faith. It isn’t. In doubt we ask to walk on water, but in faith we invite Jesus into the boat. In fact, it takes great faith (not to mention courage) to invite Jesus to captain your ship. He doesn’t always tell us where he’s taking us, or what to expect along the way. But when he walked across the water his intention was to get the disciples where they needed to go. The same is true for us. Jesus doesn’t walk across the water to call you out of your boat; instead he wants to take command of your ship (a metaphor for your life) and take you where he knows you need to go.