15. PETER WALKS ON WATER (Matt.14:22-34)

BACKGROUND: The Lake of Galilee is about 20x12 km inside. Sudden gusts from a mountain pass sometimes cause violent storms on this lake. The fourth watch was around three o'clock in the morning (verse 25). The disciples had already been nine hours on the lake by that time.
  1. Why did Jesus send his disciples to the lake although he certainly knew what would happen to them there (vs.22)?
    • Why does Jesus sometimes also send us into "a storm"?
  2. Imagine how the disciples felt and what they did while the storm was raging around them hour after hour (vs.24).
    • What did the disciples think about Jesus who didn't come with them to the boat?
    • What do you think Jesus was praying while his friends were in danger of death (vs.23)?
  3. The disciples couldn't imagine that Jesus would be able to walk on water. What did they perhaps expect him to do in that situation?
    • What do you expect Jesus to do in a hopeless situation?
    • Why did the disciples think Jesus was a ghost (vs.26)?
  4. How would you feel if Jesus stood in the midst of "the storm" you are experiencing now and said: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid" (vs.28)?
    • The words "It is I" are in fact the name of God (Yahweh) in Hebrew. Why did Jesus want to use these words in this situation?
  5. Try to find as many reasons as possible why Peter wanted to walk on huge waves with the boat tossing up and down in darkness (vs.28).
    • Do you think you would have dared to step on the waves in that situation?
    • Why didn't Peter's experiment succeed (vs.30)?
  6. What was still lacking in Peter's faith at that moment (vs.31)?
    • What would you answer if Jesus said to you the words recorded in verse 31?
    • Why is it important for us to learn to look realistically at our faith?
    • What consolation does this passage contain for those who know that they have too little faith?
  7. Why didn't Jesus come to help his friends until 3 o'clock in the morning? (What important lesson would the disciples have missed if Jesus had come to their help sooner? cf.31-33.)
    • Why does Jesus often come to our help at a much later point of time than we were expecting him to come?

GLAD TIDINGS: Nobody reached their hand to Jesus when he was in the middle of the storm (=God's anger). That was the price Jesus had to pay for our lack of faith. But that is why he is now able to reach his saving hand even to a person who has too little faith.

2012 Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com