Impetuous Peter, terrified one moment and then eager to display his trust and confidence. And yet that trust and confidence is so insubstantial, no sooner has he begun to show it, than it is challenged – it fails and he sinks!
Jesus’ response? He doesn’t laugh , nor does he scorn. He simply asks an interesting question: ‘Why did you doubt?’
Maybe the answer is evident, and is revealed in the title Jesus applies to Peter ‘Man of little faith’.
But maybe the question stands. ‘Why are you of little faith, and why did you doubt?’
- When did you last doubt and why?
- What helps you to believe and to trust?
The Gospel for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Matthew 14:22-33
Jesus Walks on the Water
14.22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 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. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Jesus Heals the Sick in Gennesaret
34 And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick 36 and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.
~ Translation of Scriptures: English Standard Version (c) 2001-9, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
~ Commentary: (c) 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photo: Carving by Simon Latham of Peter leaving the boat. Peterborough Cathedral (c) 2011, Allen Morris.