Oh, Peter. Peter gives me hope that Jesus can love a sinner like me. Peter shows us that Jesus continually forgives us, strengthens us, and shows us more of Himself. Peter proves that we don’t have to be “ready” to follow Jesus—He proves that He accepts us right where we are. Peter’s life as recorded in the Bible shows that, with Jesus, we are capable of seeing miracles, capable of really being disciples in our own right, and capable of overcoming our shortcomings. Taking a closer look at the life and legacy of Peter proved one thing to me—God can use anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Jesus calls Peter to follow Him in Matthew 4:18-19. Peter and his brother Andrew are fishing when Jesus walks past. Jesus calls to the two brothers saying, “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Personally, if some random guy walked into my office and told me he would help me fish for people, I would probably call security. Peter, however, immediately drops everything and follows Jesus. Peter has no idea where this step of faith will take him, he has no idea where he will end up, and he certainly has no idea that he will become such an important figure in the gospel story—and yet he goes. Peter seems to live with a continual “camp high” mentality. You know that beautiful two weeks after church camp or a big revival event where you feel incredibly close to God? Peter lived most of his life in a way that indicates he was experiencing that feeling too—blindly trusting, boldly following.
Despite all of these amazing qualities however, Peter is most famous for a story that portrays his weakness and great need for a Savior—stepping out of a boat to walk with Jesus on the water. The disciples set sail across the Sea of Galilee, leaving Jesus to pray and expecting Him to meet them the next morning. A storm picks up and the twelve men are struggling to make it to their destination. Suddenly, they see a figure walking towards them on the water. When they finally realize that it’s Jesus and not a ghost, Peter calls out and tests Jesus. In Matthew 14:28 (NIV) Peter says, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus calls Peter out, and it’s all going great until Peter becomes acutely aware of his own fears and shortcomings. When Peter begins to sink, Jesus pulls him up.
Something I noticed while studying the text for this blog is this—while the text says that Jesus “immediately reached out his hand and caught him,” it does not say that the two men immediately climbed back into the boat or that the storm immediately stopped. I like to think that Jesus made Peter stand on the waves in the middle of the storm with Him for a moment. Just long enough to prove His point—how much Peter needs Jesus to pull him from the waves.
And the point is true for me, too, oh me of little faith. When I started Worth More Ministries, I took a huge leap of faith, trusting that God was who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do. There have been many moments when yes, I needed Jesus to pull me from the waves, but more than that, I needed Him to walk with me in the storm. I think Jesus made Peter stand in the waves, just for a moment, to prove that Jesus would support him, rescue him, and most importantly, walk with him through all circumstances.
Sweet reader, do you feel like you’re barely keeping your head above the waves in this first week of a new year? Let Jesus pull you up, but also let Him stand in the storm with you and hold you up.