Q. The Bible is not specific on this, but when Jesus walked on the water (John 6:19), do you suppose He spoke to the water and commanded it to solidify under His feet, or do you think the water automatically knew to solidify itself under the feet of God to allow Him to cross to the other side?
A. I heard one “theologian” explain that there might have been an unusual weather condition on the Sea of Galilee that night that caused a patch of water right under the Lord’s feet to freeze solid as He began His walk out to the disciples’ boat. He speculated that Jesus stepped onto this patch and discovered it was strong enough to support Him. Without rudder or sail, He then maneuvered it against the wind to the middle of the lake coming right up along side the disciples’ boat, allowing Peter to step out onto the ice with Him.
But as Peter demonstrated by first walking upon and then falling into the water, it couldn’t have been anything the water did. Remember, the Lord rebuked Peter for not having enough faith (Matt. 14:28-31). He didn’t rebuke the water for letting Peter sink.
The simplest explanation is that by using the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus commanded the water to support Him. Peter, seeing the water was supporting the Lord and hearing His call to come, stepped out of the boat in faith. As long as his focus was on the Lord and Him only Peter could do the impossible. But when he became distracted by the wind and lost his focus he began to sink. The Lord was immediately at his side and saved him.
This is a good lesson for all of us and confirms that when Paul said, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13) he wasn’t exaggerating. As long as our eye is on the Lord and Him only we can do the impossible. But if we let ourselves become distracted by the things of this world, we can suffer a lapse of faith and fall flat. Even then, the Lord will immediately be there to save us.
“If I stand let me stand upon the promise that you will pull me through, and if I can’t let me fall upon the grace that first brought me to you” (Rich Mullins).