February 5, 2021
And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." So He said, "Come." (Matthew 14:28).
The Apostle Peter is often the recipient of bad press. He did many things that we would shake our heads at and say, “Man, what was Peter thinking!” As stated earlier, he was bold, impulsive, and strong willed. At times his tongue got ahead of his brain. My dad use to say Peter suffered from ‘foot in mouth’ syndrome. Again, he was a lot of things, but he was no fool. He stepped out of the boat and onto the storm driven Sea of Galilee because that’s where Jesus was. He had learned that wherever Jesus was, it would be safe and that’s where he wanted to be. Why? Because of his great love for Jesus. Let me explain.
Peter was wrong to deny Jesus 3 times in the courtyard of the High Priest where Jesus was being tried by the Sanhedrin. But why was Peter there in the first place? And where were the other disciples, including John, whom Jesus loved? Peter wasn’t there to protect Jesus. He was there because he loved Jesus and wanted to be near Him in that critical hour. It didn’t turn out the way he thought, but he was there none-the-less.
Maybe we think Peter refused to let Jesus wash his feet at the last supper was because of his pride. Not so. In his love and devotion for Jesus he could not think of his Lord stooping to the position of a servant to wash his feet. Peter knew who he was. He knew who Jesus was. It was unthinkable for him to let Jesus minister to him like that. He loved Him too much to let that happen.
In the boat, in the wind and waves of the Sea, Peter saw Jesus waling on the water. He asked Jesus to let him come to Him. Maybe the other disciples thought “You are a fool to get out of the boat!” Maybe Peter thought “You are fools to stay in the boat!” No doubt Peter thought it was safer to be with Jesus on the water than to be without Jesus in the boat.
But more than the motive of self-preservation, Peter wanted to be with Jesus because he loved Him. His love for the Lord was not perfect, and at times it was overshadowed by fear and doubt. But his love for Jesus was genuine - imperfect but real. When Peter was being crucified, tradition tells us he requested to be crucified upside down on the cross because he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as the Lord he loved.
“Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that my love for You is imperfect, incomplete, and lacking maturity - but my love for You is genuine. Like Peter, sometimes my love for and devotion to You is overshadowed by the flesh, but it is genuine. I ask that You will continue to develop my love and devotion to You so that I will always be pleasing in Your sight. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”