1. Jesus’ walking on water is recorded rather as a spectacular instance of his supernatural power, which evokes a suitably awed and theologically loaded response from the disciples (v 33). Behind their reaction lies the OT imagery of God walking on or through the sea (Job 9:8; Ps 77:19; Isa 43:16), a potent symbol of the Creator’s control over the unruly forces of his world.
2. The fourth watch is a Roman term covering the period 3 A.M to 6 A.M. It indicates that Jesus has spent most of the night in prayer. He now comes to help the disciples who are in difficulty.
3. It was a popular belief that evil spirits lived in the sea or that those who had drowned haunted the water. The disciples’ irrational fear is met by the familiar voice of Jesus; considering the startling manner of his appearance.
4. Peter’s address is submissive yet daring. Though perhaps tinged with some doubt he calls Jesus Lord, recognizing that Jesus manifests and participates in God’s rule over all creation. He asks permission to imitate Jesus in walking on the water and that shows his trust in Jesus’ authority.
5. Peter begins well but soon falters. He cried out, ‘Lord save me’, which reflects Ps 69: 1. Jesus extends his hand and delivers Peter as Yahweh delivered the people of Israel from oppressive slavery (Ex 3: 20).
All of us face wind/storm blowing in our lives; Sometimes it blows against us and sometimes it blows along the same direction and makes our life journey easier. Whatever might be the situation we should never forget that Jesus is always with us. People who are close today might turn out to be our enemies, and people whom we thought to be dangerous might offer us timely help. Let us face our life situations with trust and confidence in God believing firmly that our Lord will catch hold of our hands and will save us from drowning situations.
The Gospel of Matthew – R.T France
Matthew and the Margins – Warren Carter