Updated: Jul 13, 2022
It's easy to focus on the lies because they are everywhere (literally). The way we take sides based upon our loyalty to people, instead of the truth of a matter. The way we are daily operating the most sophisticated machine on the planet (our own human body), but have bought into a system that tells us we are not qualified to repair it. Or how about the way that we accept the bits and pieces that are offered to us on a weekly basis by our mega church pastors, televanglists or local bible study leaders, but when a pandemic comes to town we are no closer to finding peace than our neighbors who haven't been to church in years. In other words we have been created by the Truth to discern the Truth and vanquish the lies that try to distract us. The lies are easy to spot (if we are truly honest) but most of the time we would rather rely upon the "experts" to decipher truth from lies for us. God our Father has given us THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE so that we don't even need to mess with the lies; all we need is to follow His TRUTH. So let's do just that...
The bible is full of stories that people wrote to account for their experiences of trusting and following God. In the old testament the stories are grandiose and can span time frames that we won't ever know this side of the 21st Century; but in the new testament everything is kicked off with the birth of Jesus, the Son of the Living God, did we really think that those grandiose stories died down as societies became more and more sophisticated? No, the amazing stories that are being lived out every day (this side of the resurrection) are much greater and grander than we are able to see without God's help. Then one day Jesus came to town, and simplified the whole thing. His LIFE was lived out under God's TRUTH. Jesus lives according to John 5:19, "the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do." Not only did He do these things, but He then personalizes it (even for us 21st century hard heads) by declaring in John 14:12-14 that the baton has been passed to every one of His followers from that point forward.
So just what IS the truth that Jesus lived His life under the covering of? We must begin at the water's edge. One night Jesus was taking a walk on the water, while the disciples were toiling on their boat with some wild waves. Peter made a statement in Matthew 14:28, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." We know this story because it makes us giddy with the possibility that if Peter (of all the disciples, Peter!) can walk on top of the water, why can't we? And so we continue reading and find that old Pete actually does it (for a moment), and then he gets distracted and starts sinking and Jesus (of course, it's Peter!) has to rescue him and return him to the boat, we know the story. But what we have left too far back in the dust of this epic tale is Peter's first statement. Let's break that down so that WE can learn from sweet Pete's mistakes and begin to recognize the "impossible" feats that we are currently facing in our own lives (including pandemic proportions) and apply the TRUTH to them all liberally.
Matthew 14:28 (NKJ)
"And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you, on the water."
A few things to point out prior to the boat ride:
1. Jesus and His disciples had JUST finished a pretty big miracle feeding 5,000 men (not even including the women and children). The high was all around them. They had never seen or experienced anything like that and they were FULL of faith in who Jesus was.
2. Jesus (it says in verse 22) IMMEDIATELY puts the boys on the boat and tells them He will meet them on the other side while He dealt with sending the people on their way.
3. The other side was far away because Jesus has time to head up a mountain, talk to His Father and THEN evening starts moving in.
4. By the time Jesus is visibly walking on the water toward the other side, the guys see Him but don't recognize Him, they are merely in the middle of their journey and those waves were getting violent, enough so that the boat (it says in verse 24) was being tossed.
So here they all are in the middle of a large body of water, being tossed by waves after a big day of experiencing the largest miracle (to scale) that they had yet to experience and it says in verse 26 that these lads "cried out for fear" at the sight of what they perceived as a ghost. We all understand that fear is a LIE and so we now understand that the lads were crying out because of a lie, so it isn't such a surprise that Jesus would respond to them in the calm and assertive way that He did with the TRUTH, in order to snap them out of it and in verse 27 Jesus says, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid". Now, the rest of the disciples have nothing more to say in this moment, but Peter sees the hint that Jesus left in His statement "do not be afraid" (it's entirely up to you) and he grabs hold of this opportunity before him. We then enter verse 28 and the things that Peter says in response to Jesus' hint.
"Lord, if it is You"
This is the first step out of the boat, before he moves a muscle in his leg. The way he words this tells us that he (just as the others at this point) doesn't know FOR SURE that this is Jesus. He believes it is, he probably really hopes it is, but he doesn't have a solid beyond a shadow of a doubt knowledge that this is Jesus. This is the first step because as humans, we LOVE CONTROL. We need to know the science and the facts and if it can be totally proven then we are totally on board, if not, we're not. This incredible moment of Peter's interaction with Jesus begins in the "unknown", it is a step of TRUST, FAITH and DEPENDENCE on the One whom he knows is the source. This step is important because we DO NOT NEED TO KNOW the answers, we simply need to follow the TRUTH (God) and know the TRUTH (God) Himself, has called us out of the boat.
"Command me to come to You"
This is the second step of this miracle and still, he hasn't lifted his leg to crawl out of that boat yet. Peter (knowing it or not) pulled on the TRUTH that Jesus had been and continued to operate His ministry under: the authority and power that had been given to Him by God, His (and our) Father. It's as if Peter who witnessed Jesus being arrested by this same pulling that we see in Matthew 9, by the woman who touched his clothing and was healed, and by the man who pulled by faith the TRUTH from Jesus to restore life to his daughter who had died; it's as if he finally got it. By this statement he is tapping into that same TRUTH by FAITH (not natural knowledge) and yet he won't even shift his weight to get out until he hears the command to "COME."
"On the water"
This part of his statement is highly overlooked as a "duh" moment. Where else would Peter be talking about, he sees Jesus on the water and so of course he would need to be on the water to come to Jesus. But take another look at what this portion truly means. With this addition to his statement, he taps into something that (up until this point) only Jesus had been doing, Peter is saying that he wants to do what he can see Jesus and his Father doing. Finally, Peter was tapping into the authority and power that he had been witnessing on the road with Jesus and in this one moment he clued into the KEY to Jesus' daily doings. Not only that, but Peter also realized something in that moment, that God the Father and Jesus were one in the same. He sees what his Father is doing, who did he see? He saw Jesus and God the Father as one in the same and in this moment he knew that he could do the same, if only Jesus would give him the go ahead.
Now, in the heat of the moment, we would expect that Peter would need some instructions and maybe a brief safety lesson so, you know, he would be aware of what to look out for and how to handle the situation perfectly. But as we all know, Jesus answers Peter in verse 29 with a VERY SIMPLE, "Come". Of course we could say that Jesus was a man of few words, but if we read all His parables in their entirety, we know he was an articulate wordsmith; so why then, did Jesus choose such a small, simple response in the middle of a storm, in the middle of the sea and right on the heals of Peter (and the rest of the chaps) being overcome with fear?
TRUTH cuts through ALL THINGS. TRUTH makes the large things, small. TRUTH takes out all the guess work, and formulas, and explanations, and reasons why or why not, and the past deeds, and the guilt, and the shame; ALL OF IT. TRUTH is stable, steady, unchanging. TRUTH doesn't rely on anything or anyone to do this or that in order to obtain that or this. TRUTH is FREEDOM (John 8:32). TRUTH leads to TRUTH (John 16:13). TRUTH is GOD and GOD is TRUTH (John 14:6) and DIVINE TRUTH speaks to POWER (John 11:43).
So how does this apply to us right here and right now? The exact same way it applied to Peter on the edge of the boat about to do something we ALL would like to experience at least once in our lives.
Step 1: Make sure it's Jesus. What you perceive to do, make sure Jesus is in it.
Step 2: We don't need to know everything, just know what God and His word says for EVERYTHING we are stepping into.
Step 3: Pull on that TRUTH (the word of God) through FAITH and TRUST that God's word is THE truth and so as TRUTH works, HE WILL/HAS ALREADY COME THROUGH.
Step 4: Do only what we see our Father doing. The key is to FIRST see it and then DO IT.
"Oh, by the way Jesus and even Peter weren't walking on the water, they were walking on the word of TRUTH."