22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” 34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
It strikes me that the writers of the gospels wanted to emphasise the importance Jesus placed on getting alone to pray. Quite often Jesus is reported ‘missing’ in prayer after a particularly strenuous day of ministry. It would appear that prayer was a very specific joy and refreshment to Jesus, no doubt it was the backbone of his ministry.
Often Jesus would see a situation completely differently from all his followers, I attribute this to his prayer life. This is demonstrated in the second half of this story. Jesus’ disciples see themselves as in mortal peril because of the storm they are stuck in. Jesus only sees the mighty power of God his Father. As Jesus walks on water he is literally walking above the concern of his disciples.
I desire that sort of view of the world and the only way to have this view is to know my Father intimately just as Jesus knows him.
God, there is only one person who can renew my heart and mind – you! May I be a regular and persistent visitor in your courts and a conduit of your Kingdom on the earth.
Written by Andrew Mellor