"Stepping out of the boat" in New Wine

I’m sure you all know the story of Jesus walking on water in Matthew 14. It’s a classic, but I think the passage has a lot to teach us about how we can shift our culture of comfort to a culture of stepping out for the sake of the kingdom in order to see the miraculous.

So, in the passage the disciples are in a boat out at sea when they see someone(Jesus) walking towards their boat, so they panic. Jesus says ‘don’t be afraid’ so Peter replies ‘Lord, if it’s you then tell me to come to you on the water’. Jesus says ‘come!’ and Peter steps out of the boat and starts walking on the water towards Jesus. That’s a very brief overview but I’m sure you get the idea!

There are 3 things I love about this passage:

The 1st thing I love is that Peter wants to get out of the boat! We need to remember what a trust exercise that would have been! I mean, imagine if Peter had gotten out and started sinking, he would have looked pretty stupid in that moment! Maybe the others in the boat were thinking,’Peter what are you doing?’ Your experience may be similar,where the people around you have been confused about why you want to do certain things, i.e. pray for miracles, and to them you may look stupid! I don’t think it will ever look normal to ask a stranger on crutches if you can pray for them. But we aren’t called to be normal we are called to be radical. We can learn a lot from the simple phrase Peter asked Jesus ‘tell me to come’ Peter probably wasn’t thinking about the logistics,what others thought or the possibility of failure, which are all things that stop us from stepping out, but he was willing to risk all that by being obedient to Jesus saying ‘come’.

The second thing I love is that Peter walked towards Jesus. He didn’t turn around to the disciples in the boat saying ‘ look at me I’m walking on water!’ He was focussed on the direction he wanted to go in, towards Jesus. That should always be our goal when we step out of the boat. As soon as we tell others how great we are for stepping out it’s no longer about the one we’re getting out of the boat to meet. We need to be a focused generation, pressing on towards Jesus wholeheartedly without making it about us.

The final thing I love is that as soon as Peter starts sinking Jesus reaches out his hand. Jesus isn’t going to abandon you in your time of need. Stepping out is hard because it’s against our culture, but Jesus won’t leave you in those moments, in fact it’s then when he grabs onto you and says have more faith!

We are called to be people who are living outside of the boat, moving towards Jesus and having the faith to rely on him all the time.

So, get out of the boat, tell people about Jesus and pray for the miraculous because Jesus is calling you to ‘come’.

Charlotte Heath

Charlotte, 19 is a currently a New Wine Discipleship Year Intern at Trinity Church Cheltenham. She is specifically involved in the homeless and vulnerable adults ministry at Trinity and is passionate about seeing broken hearts mended and people learning where their true identity and purpose comes from.

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