“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” ~ Matthew 10:8
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” ~ John 14:12-17
“And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” ~ Luke 24:49
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” ~ Acts 2:1-4
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” ~ Galatians 5:25
Peter, the fisherman, steps out of the boat, and walks upon the water…
“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.” ~ Matthew 14:22-32
It was hard for me to find a picture of Peter stepping out of the boat, placing his foot on the water, and walking – on the water – 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?’”
I imagine we prefer to see Peter doubting and sinking, rather than preferring to see Peter walking in faith, on the water, exactly like Jesus did, because we don’t walk in faith, or walk on the water… we sit in the boat, as the other disciples did, so we create pictures of Peter sinking, which are images that reveal our lack of faith more than they do Peter’s, because Peter, unlike us, and unlike the other disciples, stepped out of the boat, and walked upon the water, exactly as Jesus did!
In the boat that day, eleven disciples, upon recognizing – as Jesus – the figure who was walking toward them upon the water, promptly did nothing, and sat on their asses. Only one disciple, Peter – immediately and without hesitation – got up, said to the Jesus: “Lord! If you bid me come to you I will!” and Jesus said to him: “Come.” So Peter, who had been a fisherman all of his life, stepped out of the boat, and began walking upon the water!
Can you imagine? A man who’d spent his entire life in boats, fishing, on the water, stepped out of the boat, as if the water were solid as concrete, and found that when walking in faith it was solid, and he walked upon it, exactly as Jesus did.
When Peter did begin to doubt, and began to sink, the Lord wasn’t angry with him, he was simply saddened and disappointed in Peter, but happily so, I think, because Peter displayed such perfect, unwavering faith when he first saw Jesus, unlike the other disciples, and us, when Peter asked him: “Bid me to come to you Lord and I will!”, and he did, just as Jesus did.
After Jesus had ascended to the Father and had sent the Holy Spirit upon the disciples, Peter was the one disciple who was the most Christlike, healing multitudes of peoples of various diseases, casting out devils, and raising the dead, just as Jesus did.
“Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.a And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” ~ Acts 3:1-10
“Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.” ~ Acts 5:12-16
“Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas.c She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.” ~ Acts 9:36-43
“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:16-20
“O you of little faith, why do you doubt?!’” ~ Jesus
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” ~ Hebrews 12:1-2
“And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.” ~ Luke 5:11