“Come,” Jesus said to Peter. It was not the first time that He, the Word made flesh, spoke this word while walking on the earth He sustains by the power of His word. He had spoken it to Peter and Andrew, his brother, while they were fishing in the Sea of Galilee. He told them, “Come and follow me, and I will transform you into men who catch people for God” (Matthew 4:18-20, TPT).
He spoke it also as part of an invitation to a crowd of people. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG).
But in this instance when He said to Peter, “Come,” it was in response to Peter’s request, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And at His command, Peter did what no man had ever done, he began to walk on water. He walked on water, that is, until he saw the wind was boisterous. Then he became afraid and began to sink. Fear changes things, does it not? But then so does crying out to God, and that is what Peter did. And Jesus responded. (End of 5 minutes). Immediately, we are told, Jesus “stretched out his hand and caught him, and said, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” (Matthew 14:25-31, NKJV). Or as another translation states, “What little faith you have! Why would you let doubt win?” (Matthew 14:31, TPT, emphasis added).
We know that when God asks us a question, He is not looking for information. He is omniscient. I believe that one reason He asks us questions such as, “Why did (or do) you doubt Me?’ is to prompt reflection on our part. The reason Peter began to sink is one of the same reasons that we all are overcome, are derailed by our circumstances, good and bad – We are overcome, are derailed when we take our eyes off of Him and focus on our circumstances. There are other reasons each of us has but none that are uncommon to man. Each of us must answer this and other questions for ourselves. I am thankful that our God is so gracious and so merciful and so full of compassion. He never asks these questions to embarrass or condemn us, only to bring us face to face with ourselves so that He can deliver and heal us. He is committed to transforming us into the image of His Son.
I am participating in a weekly writing adventure with the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung. This week’s prompt is, “Why.” Links to Scripture verses were added after the allotted five minutes had expired.