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24But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

 

14:24

But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

The disciples found themselves in a storm in the middle of the Sea of Galilee (about 3½ miles from shore).

14:25

Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.

The “fourth watch” was between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m.

14:26

And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out [screamed] for [from] fear [terror].

The disciples were in stark fear and severe panic. They pushed the panic button hard when they saw what appeared to them to be a ghost (an apparition). Evidently the disciples believed in superstition to some extent. Their screaming came from the source of terror. This is where the Lord wanted them, for they needed to see their need for Him.

14:27

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

Immediately Jesus assured the disciples who it was walking on the water. There should be no fear where Jesus is. The word “I” is I am. This is an allusion to Yahweh, the great I am.

14:28

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if [since] it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

Peter the fisherman’s request to walk on the water with Jesus was an act of some degree of faith. The Greek indicates that Peter assumed that it was true that it was indeed Jesus walking on the water. He believed that he could meet Jesus while walking on the water upon Christ’s command.

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.

With Jesus’ command to “come,” Peter began walking on water.

14:30

But [sudden break] when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

Evidently Peter was afraid of the storm, not of walking on water.

14:31

And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Jesus caught Peter from going under water and rebuked him for “little faith.” Peter had some faith but not a whole lot.

PRINCIPLE:

Faith grows under duress.

APPLICATION:

We cannot work up faith by emotion or formula. Faith develops through pressure and trial. Trust grows from believing God’s promises, not by belief without evidence. Faith believes the evidence revealed by God.

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