In Awe of Christ’s Power
Key Verse: “When they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”
UNLIKE OTHER RELIGIOUS books, the Bible treats its heroes with the naked truth. Weaknesses are revealed as well as strengths of the most famous and familiar characters of Scripture. The failings of the Bible’s most revered men and women serve to strengthen the authenticity of its message concerning man’s need of a redeemer and savior.
Speaking of the need for a savior to release mankind from the curse of sin and death, Paul describes, in summary fashion, God’s plan in these words: “Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so [all] in Christ shall … be made alive.” (I Cor. 15:21,22) All of the Bible’s true heroes knew their flaws and came to realize their need for the means of salvation which would be provided by God, in his due time.
Our lesson today focuses on the Apostle Peter, perhaps the most famous of all imperfect followers of Christ. Sometimes referred to as “impetuous Peter,” we see in him a disciple of Jesus completely dedicated to following and trusting in his Master, yet often giving in to his own imperfect will. After hearing Jesus speak of his approaching death, Peter not only disputed the statement, but argued this could not possibly happen, thereby insinuating he knew better than his Master what God’s will was. This same Peter drew a sword and smote the servant of the high priest in defense of Jesus, only to deny he knew him with oaths and cursing a few hours later. (Matt. 16:21,22; John 18:10-27) Yet, for all his imperfections and weaknesses, Jesus loved him.
Our lesson finds Peter and the other disciples on a ship in the midst of a storm. Jesus had told them to cross to the other side of the sea while he went alone into a mountain to pray. While the ship was being tossed by the raging waves, they suddenly saw Jesus walking toward them on the water. Not recognizing their Master, they were fearful until Jesus spoke to them saying, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” (Matt. 14:22-27) How similar was Jesus’ statement to the calming words expressed by the angel to the shepherds when announcing the birth of the Savior of the world, saying, “Fear not!”
Peter’s faith was stronger than that of the others to the point of asking Jesus to bid him to walk on the water to greet him. Jesus answered simply, “Come.” Peter immediately stepped out of the ship and onto the water, walking toward his Master. (vss. 28,29) While his eyes were fixed on Jesus, he walked safely and surely toward the one he loved, but when he saw the roaring wind he became afraid and began to sink, calling out, “Lord, save me.” “Immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”—vss. 30,31
Our Key Verses explain the outcome of this event. When the lesson of faith had been taught, Jesus calmed the storm and the disciples worshipped him as the Son of God. Through faith, let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the world’s Savior, whenever we hear his invitation, “Come”.