Things in the Bible I don't get, Part One

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 9:17am

Kind of a cheesy image but it comes close to my dilemma of belief about the account in Matthew 14 about Jesus, and Peter, walking on the sea.  In Matthew 14:24 is says the guys were having trouble "far away from land, for a strong wind had risen and they were fighting heavy waves." 

Now this was at 3:00 a.m..  It was dark, no moonlight because we assume the strong winds were from a storm that had blown in.  They didn't have to check to see what the weather was going to be like on their trip across the large lake.  I've seen the Sea of Galilee and it is a very large lake by our standards.  But it's surrounded by rough terrain and mountains causing winds to pickup on a moments notice.

They saw Jesus walking in the storm.  Now I've been in big waves.  The biggest were swales in excess of 10 feet which aren't that big really.  Our waves were not so big that we were not "fighting" them so the waves at that time must have been much bigger.  That or the guys were in a small, inadequate vessel.

Here it is, my dilemma - how can you walk on big, violent waves?  I'd think you'd be tossed around, even if you had the ability to walk on the surface of water.  The only way I'd think this could happen is if the water just around Jesus was calm, which since He's God, He could do.  To walk and ride the swales up and down would be fun but a trick for most of us.  I could see it as an event in the X-Games!

I know, Jesus was God and it's in the Bible so we can't question it ( :) ) but I'm sort of a realist and sometimes I swim against the current on things.  I don't question any part of the account.  It was practical that Jesus walk across the sea because He had sent the guys out ahead while He saw the people off to their homes, you know after Jesus fed them all.  He needed to meet up with the rest of them and didn't have a boat (I guess).  That or He just wanted to walk instead of ride.

Peter.  I would have been like Peter and jumped in!  You have to know, Peter being a life long fisherman, knew exactly what he was stepping in to.  He'd been in seas like this many times before and when he saw Jesus out on the water, he wanted in!  That's when we see the big waves come back into the story.  Peter takes his eyes off Jesus and sees his predicament and starts to sink.  Jesus reaches out and saves him.  Classic story of sight and trust.

Preachers and teachers take this story and make lessons from its interpretation but I only take one thing from it... I want to ask Jesus when I see Him how He managed the waves.