Today’s reading: 14:22-36
Today we read the famous scene where Jesus walks on water and approaches a boat carrying the Apostles. They think they are seeing a ghost and are terrified. After Jesus identifies himself, Peter says, “Lord if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.” Jesus bids Peter to come and at first Peter walks on water. However, the passage says, “but when he [Peter] saw the wind he was afraid” and then he began to sink. Jesus reaches out and saves him.
In analyzing this passage most people focus on Peter’s faith response. The easy lesson: Peter had faith but he let it wain and then started to sink into the sea. However, notice what the passage says, it’s focus is that when Peter “saw the wind” is when he became afraid. This is a curious statement as one cannot see the wind. We can of course, see the effects to the wind but we cannot see the wind itself. So, it’s possible that this passage just means Peter saw the big waves and the spray and he panicked but that has always struck me as an unsatisfying explanation. Wouldn’t Peter have seen the waves and the spray before he got out of the boat? Yet at first, he walks on the water. Sometimes the word for wind can also mean spirit. It is my understanding that the word that can be translates as “Wind” or “Spirit” is not the word used here. However, I think the association still should be considered. Perhaps Peter didn’t just see the wind in the common sense. Perhaps in that great moment of faith he saw some glimpse of the natural world as God “sees” it.
The second thing that is particularly interesting is how the passage ends. After Jesus gets into the boat the Apostles worship him. This worship is accepted by Jesus clearly showing that Jesus is God, not an angel or prophet, etc.
Tomorrow: Tomorrow 15:1-20