This morning at CrossHope Chapel was a good one as we went through the 14th chapter of Matthew. We studied through three stories recorded by Matthew, the beheading of John the Baptist, the feeding of the 5000, and Jesus walking on the water.
All three of these accounts were tied together with Jesus’ response to the news of His cousin’s death and we reflected on how Jesus simply sought solitude as He likely was processing His grief.
However, I’ve spent the afternoon reflecting more on the five little words in the story of Jesus walking on water, “when he saw the wind,” which describes the reason for Peter’s sinking into the lake after miraculously walking on water.
You remember the story, a bad storm arose when the disciples were trying to cross the lake and the strong wind was causing them fear. Then Jesus comes walking on the water toward them, and Peter asked the Lord to bid him to join Him, and the Bible says, “Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:29-30 NIV).
I’ve been impressed with an insight that we are not much different than Peter, though our wind may be a number of different difficulties or distractions in our society.
We are either keeping our eyes on Jesus or we are focusing on the wind around us.
Matthew tells us that when Peter “saw the wind, he was afraid” and then he began to sink. What happened was that when Peter took his eyes off the Lord Jesus he was focusing on the wind and that caused him to be afraid and to begin sinking.
It is easy to allow our sight to become fixated on all that is wrong in our culture and society, rather than cherishing the peace that can be ours by looking toward Jesus. We reap what we sow, so if we are investing a lot of our thinking on avoiding evil or outsmarting evil-doers, we are feeding our fears and will begin sinking.
On the other hand if we are careful to guard our minds by staying focused on the Savior we will be reaping faith in the Lord, experience His peace, receive His righteousness into our lives, and enjoy the calming of our storms.
I wanted to share this with you because I simply want to encourage you to keep your eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ and resist the temptation to focus on the winds. The wind tends to reinforce our fears and cause us to sink, but when our eyes are on the Lord Jesus the wind can’t prevent us from walking on water.
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”