Loud thunders. Powerful lightning. A dark cloud. The loud sound of a trumpet. The House of Israel heard and saw these things and trembled with fear. It was on the Feast of Weeks after their journey out of Egypt when Jesus Christ gave the 10 Commandments (Exodus 19:16).
However, there is no mention of rain. Water often symbolizes the Holy Spirit, and God did not give them the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, they did not Peter Grubisic have the heart to keep God's commandments (Deuteronomy 5:29).
They sinned greatly by building a golden calf and an altar before it. They attempted to use it to declare a Feast to God. Moses ordered the execution of those who had committed such sin, and about 3,000 people died at the hands of the Levites (Exodus 32:5, 26-28).
On the Feast of Weeks called Pentecost in the New Testament when God gave the Holy Spirit to the Church of God, the apostles heard a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind as described in Acts 2:2.
They would receive the Holy Spirit, which is the comforter that Jesus Christ had promised. The Holy Spirit would also give them the power to keep God's commandments in their spiritual intent and to do the work that God had given them.
The apostle Peter would preach a sermon about repentance and about 3,000 people were added to the church (Acts 2:41). In the days that followed, many more people repented and were added to the church, including a large number of priests (Acts 6:7). The priests were Cohanim. They were of the lineage of Aaron, who was a Levite.
The apostle Peter gave a sermon about repentance on the Day of Pentecost when God gave the church the Holy Spirit. However, the Day of Pentecost was not the first time Peter and the other apostles had experienced the sound of a mighty wind or received comfort from Christ.
The purpose of this article is to describe the lessons we can learn from Peter's walk on the water.
Peter Walks on the Water
The disciples were in a boat during a bad storm as recorded in Matthew 14:22-31:
"22And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" (KJV)
Jesus Christ came to them in the fourth watch of the night, Peter Grubisicwhich would be about 3:00 a.m. The disciples were afraid and thought that they might have seen a demon. Yet, Jesus Christ was near to them, and they did not even recognize him.
Notice that Jesus Christ was not physically present in the boat with the disciples because he was praying to his Father. The ship is symbolic of the Church of God. The Church of God is relatively small in the midst of many waters, which represent the nations of the world (Revelation 17:15). Likewise, Jesus Christ is not physically present with us today, but he makes intercession for us as our high priest before the Father (Hebrews 4:14-16). And Jesus Christ dwells within Christians today through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ placed the disciples in the boat together, but he sent the multitudes away. Likewise, the Holy Spirit has placed Christians in the Church of God, and we are to be separate from the multitudes in the world. The world is under the influence of Satan (II Corinthians 4:4). Pure religion includes keeping ourselves unspotted from the world (James 1:27). We are to be led by the Holy Spirit.
The wind was strong, which caused the boat to be tossed by the waves even as trials often toss us about in life's stormy seas. However, Jesus Christ came to the disciples to comfort them even as God has given the Holy Spirit to comfort us. God comforts us in our trials through the Holy Spirit so that we can know better how to comfort others in their trials (II Corinthians 1:3-4).
The disciples reacted with fear. However, Jesus Christ instructed the disciples not to be afraid. We may react with fear to our sore trials, but God comforts us and pours out his love on us through the Holy Spirit. Perfect love casts out fear because it is a sacrificial love. We are called to be a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1)
Peter had some doubt if the one whom he saw walking on the water were really Jesus Christ. We may often doubt if God is really with us and if the Holy Spirit is guiding us. He wanted to come to Jesus Christ, but he asked permission first.
Jesus Christ told Peter to come to him on the water. We often have to show our faith by taking bold steps with the aid of the Holy Spirit, which is often symbolized by water.
Peter was bold enough to do so when Jesus Christ bid him to come. We are often bold enough to take the initial steps of faith.
As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus Christ, he was able to walk on the water and go toward him. As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, we can make spiritual progress regardless of the trials and difficult circumstances that surround us. We know that all things work together for good to those whom God has called and who love God and keep his commandments (Romans 8:26).