Walking over water with Jesus

Peter dared to try and failed, but only apparently. Although he nearly drowned as a result of his own doubts, he did reach his Saviour in the end. Following is a how-to-guide on walking over water from a divine service by the Chief Apostle.

More than 36,000 participants—young people and ministers—were counted on Sunday, 18 February 2018 at the Young People Convention in Cape Town (South Africa). They heard a sermon about Matthew 14: 29: “So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.”

The Bible text is taken from the events on Lake Galilee, when the disciples got into a boat and went on ahead of Jesus to the other side and Jesus walked towards them on the water. Peter tried to do the same and nearly drowned …

“God calls all human beings,” Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider made clear. This is not an invitation by an organisation or by a person, but is extended by Jesus Himself. The call is addressed to all people. It is not a general call, but one that is very personal, and is addressed to each one individually. He calls all to have fellowship with Him, to serve Him, and ultimately to share eternal glory with Him. .

“If you want to come to Jesus, you have to follow His example.” Peter followed the Lord’s call by attempting to do the impossible: to walk over water. The Chief Apostle said that in order to come to Jesus it is not enough to go to church, pray, and do good works. “The important thing is to do what He did,” he explained:

  • making fellowship with God our absolute priority,
  • doing God’s will under all circumstances,
  • striving to love and forgive as Jesus did.

“Let us take the risk and follow Jesus.” Although Peter was a good swimmer, he risked his life on the stormy lake when he got out of the boat. To follow the example of Jesus could imply a risk for us. Those who are prepared to forgive are quickly perceived as being weak. And those who always keep God’s commandments run the risk of having to do without wealth, recognition, or contentment. But even so, “It’s worth remaining faithful to Jesus. Because Jesus is faithful to us: He will help us.”

“We do what Jesus wants us to do because we love Him.” Peter’s motivation to walk on the water was not to impress the other disciples. All he wanted was to come to Jesus. Our motivation today is not to be better Christians than others. “But if our motivation is pure and all we desire is to come to Jesus and have fellowship with Him, then God will help us.”

“The danger does not come from outside. The danger comes from inside.” Peter started to sink not because of the wind and the waves, but because of his doubt, his “little faith”, as Jesus said when He caught him. Every believer has to go through tribulations, but this alone will not prevent us from entering the kingdom of God. But if our faith becomes weak and we lose our trust in Jesus Christ, then it becomes dangerous, the Chief Apostle said.

“Just call Jesus and tell Him: ‘I want to remain faithful. Please help me.’” Peter was in danger of drowning in his own doubts and called out to Jesus, who immediately reached out His hand and caught him. If our faith becomes weak, we should not hesitate to ask God for help. Because the Lord will not let those down who love Him.

The Chief Apostle said in conclusion, “Trust Jesus. Listen to His call. He Himself calls you, ‘Come!’ Answer this call and follow the example of Jesus. Even if it seems impossible, you can do it. If love for Jesus Christ is your motivation, Jesus will give you the strength you need.”

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Andreas Rother
South Africa, Chief Apostle, Divine service