How Did Peter Walk on Water? & Why Did He Sink?

How Did Peter Walk on Water? & Why Did He Sink?

Peter Walks on Water

Peter was willing to put it all on the line. He and the other disciples had been straining against the waves and wind all night long when Jesus appeared to them, walking on the water. Wanting to prove his courage to Jesus, he made an amazing statement: “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water” (Matthew 14:28). These were rough seas, and Peter was willing to literally step onto them because He was looking at Jesus. That gave him confidence and courage.

It went well for a while until Peter started to sink. And why did he sink? Because he took his eyes off Jesus and put them on other things. The Bible tells us, “When he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid” (verse 30).

Circumstances can be frightening. When your boss calls you in and tells you the company has to downsize and they are letting you go, when the doctor calls you with the test results that are not good, when you open that letter from an attorney that says you are being sued, it can scare you. It can devastate you. And it can cause you to take your eyes off Jesus.

Where fear reigns, faith is driven away. But where faith reigns, fear has no place. Faith and fear don’t mix. As you bring in faith, fear will walk out the back door. But if you invite fear as a resident in your life, then you will drive faith away.

Peter had faith. He had his eyes on Jesus. He was doing the impossible. But then he started to sink because he took his eyes off Jesus. In his case, he looked at the wind. In our case, it might be something else. But when we forget God, we will start to sink.

Bible Story of Peter Walking on Water

Read the full Bible account of Jesus and Peter walking on water from Matthew 14:22-33,

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 

And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid." And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Taken from “No Place for Fear” by Harvest Ministries (used by permission). 

Photo by Kevin Krejci on Flickr


Originally published May 19, 2011.