Let's set the scene: the disciples have just witnessed Jesus feed five thousand men, (not counting the women and children which would have made it far more than 5000 people) and they have been told by Jesus to get into a boat and sail across the water. Jesus remained behind to dismiss the crowd of people and spend some time in solitary prayer. He is praying until quite late at night before he decides to go and catch up with the disciples.
The boat is already a way out and due to the wind being against them it is probably being rocked and shook a little. The disciples were probably discussing what had happened earlier on. Then all of a sudden they see a figure coming across over the foam of the waves towards them. They would have been terrified!
Jesus calls out to them and Peter knows his voice straight away. Peter then walks towards Jesus, but when he sees the waves he panics and begins to sink. Jesus reaches out and pulls him up. A few things stand out to me in this.
Firstly people seem to read this and get all judgemental about Peter, all because he began to sink, but Peter is the only one that actually got out of the boat. The other disciples were either too comfy or too scared to even do that.
Secondly, Peter only starts to sink when he starts looking around him at the waves and the fact that he's walking on water. We are told many times in scripture to not look to the left or the right. Proverbs 4:27 says this: 'Do not turn to the left or the right, keep your foot from evil'. Peter was living this proverb out in a real way.
Thirdly, Peter doesn't just drop into the water like a stone, he slowly begins to sink. Then Jesus reaches out to him and Peter takes hold of his hand.
This can be applied to our lives in a very practical way. We are to get out of the boat, step out in faith. We are to keep our eyes focused to the goal ahead, not looking left or right. However if we do when we notice we are beginning to sink and that Jesus is holding out His hand we need to regain hold of Him and He will pull us up.
So, are you ready to get out of the boat?