Step Out of the Boat: Jesus and Peter Walk on Water | Matthew 14

Welcome to Real Life. Jesus walked on water. He wasn't the only one. 

Crowds follow Jesus everywhere. No one speaks like he does. He heals the sick. He raises the dead. He sets captives free. (Who wouldn’t want to see this?) 

One day, thousands follow him into a remote area. They are far from any village and without provisions. Rather than send them away to find food, Jesus feeds them. He miraculously multiplies five loaves of bread and two fish to feed 5000+ people (with twelve baskets of left-overs). He cares about their physical needs, as well as spiritual ones. 

Evening comes. The crowd disperses. Jesus sends his disciples ahead by boat to their next destination, Gennesaret, across the Sea of Galilee. He remains behind alone. Don’t worry about me, I’ll catch up. He climbs the mountainside to find a secluded spot to pray. 

In the darkness before dawn, Jesus descends the mountain. By this time, his friends are far out at sea. The wind has kicked up. Waves buffet the boat. How will Jesus reach them? He walks out on the water. Amazing? Impossible? Not for the One who created the sea. He possesses authority over it. 

Jesus is not showing off. He’s teaching. He has been progressively revealing more of himself to the twelve (for they will carry on his mission after he’s gone.) They are beginning to comprehend. Jesus is more than a prophet. He’s greater than Elijah. He’s the Messiah, God incarnate. 

Seeing Jesus walk on water terrifies his friends. They think he’s a ghost. (Only a spirit wouldn't sink.) Jesus reassures them, “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 

What happens next is equally amazing. Peter says, “Lord, if it’s you. Tell me to come to you on the water.” Peter gets it. He’s been walking, talking, laughing, eating, and traveling with Jesus. He just watched his Lord feed a multitude with barely nothing. Jesus’ power is limitless. 

The Lord rewards Peter’s bold faith and replies, “Come.” 

Peter gets out of the boat. He actually gets out of the boat! He steps onto the surface of the sea. For a few moments, it holds his weight … until the wind kicks up. Then fear overcomes faith. He sinks, crying, “Lord, save me!” 

Jesus reaches out and grabs Peter, saying, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 

If I had been in the boat that dark stormy morning, would I have possessed Peter’s faith? Would I have believed Jesus could enable me to walk on water, too? Or, would I have clung to the safety of the boat?

I like to feel safe and secure. But, I’ve been in the boat for a while. I see Jesus walking on water and I want to go to him. For me, this means deciding whether to apply for a challenging nine month writing course. Am I good enough? Can I handle this? If I step out of the boat, will I sink? I ask, like Peter, “Lord, if it is your will, bid me come to you.”

He replies, “Come.” 

I applied. I was accepted. I began the course this week.

Just like Peter, at times, fear may overcome my faith. I may sink. I may lose inspiration, motivation, or confidence. However, if I remain close to Jesus - no more than an arm’s breadth away - he can easily reach out and rescue me.

Back on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus and Peter climb into the boat. The wind dies down. The disciples worship, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Only God can walk on water. Only he can empower me to do so. Will I believe? Will I trust Jesus to take me beyond my ability? I am satisfied with so little. He has so much more. It’s time to step out of the boat.

Taking it further …

  • What challenge lies ahead? Do you believe God has more for you? Is it time to leave the safety of the boat?
  • "The closer you live to Me, the safer you are. Circumstances around you are undulating, and there are treacherous looking waves in the distance. Fix your eyes on Me, the One who never changes. By the time those waves reach you, they will have shrunk to proportions of My design. I am always beside you, helping you face today’s waves. The future is a phantom, seeking to spook you. Laugh at the future! Stay close to me." 
    Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, p. 16 (January 15). 
Next post: "The Soil of My Heart" on February 15, 2013.

Jesus Walking on Water:

Jesus Rescuing Peter (Peter Walking on Water): 


  1. @ Peggi Tustan - I enjoyed your excellent biblical story. It was well-written, spiritual,and inspirational.

    Thank you.

  2. Thanks, Daron! I appreciate you stopping by to read my blog and comment - so kind of you.

  3. My Dear Friend,

    Thank you. I can honestly testify and say that I have been at this place in my life often. I believe each new turn in God's purpose for our lives challenges us to step out of the boat and trust him. My Pastor always says, God's plans for our lives are always bigger than what we think we can do. The challenge is to think big like God thinks and not limit ourselves to what we think we can do with our tiny limits.

    So once again, that you for your words of inspiration. This year I have been challenged to step out of the boat and keep moving forward. It gets mighty comfortable doing the same old thing over and over, but is that God. I don't think so. The Holy Spirit moves and if we want to live out our purpose in life, we must move when the Spirit moves.

    Love you Peggi and thanks for the uplifting words, Get out of the boat. That was a confirmation for me.


  4. Go, Patricia!

    So often your "Walk On" blogs have inspired me to be more, do more, reach for more, have more faith. Let's keep encouraging one another to step out of our boats in faith.

    Love you, friend!


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