I recently heard a commercial on Spirit 95 – one of those inspirational messages they’re so good at – and it made me pause. The theme was faith. They asked – “When Jesus called to the disciples, why was Peter the only one to get out of the boat?”
That’s a good question. They were all followers of Jesus. They had all seen the miracles He performed. Yet when He told them to come on out and walk on the water, only Peter had enough faith to jump out of the boat. Sure, he ended up starting to sink, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that he was the only one who tried.
So many times we hear this passage preached with the theme being about Peter taking his eyes off Jesus and falling. And how we must keep our eyes upon Jesus or we run the risk of “falling.” This is true and something we need to keep in mind all the time.
But I liked this take on it also. Why was Peter the only one to take the risk? Did the other guys want to watch and see what happened? And then if Peter made it, they might try it, too? Or was it just too “out there” for them?
And, of course, we can apply this to ourselves today. If we felt God telling us to sell our home and go to … Iraq, would we “jump out of the boat” and start walking His way? How many times have we had missionaries come through and we felt the urge to put an extra $50 or $100 in the offering pan… but we just couldn’t see past the bills that were due to do it? Or we’ve seen someone in a restaurant who looked totally alone and out of sorts – God tells us to go speak to them, but we’re too shy or embarrassed to risk it?
While I don’t deny that the rest of the disciples had a relationship with Jesus; I think Peter was just a little bit closer to Him. Available. More ready to be used.
We need to ask ourselves: Am I like Peter? Or the rest of the crew who stayed safe in the ship?