19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: 1Kings 19:9,11-13 II: Romans 11:33-36
22 Then 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 many furlongs distant 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, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.
27 But immediately he spoke to them, saying, "Take heart, it is I; have no fear."
28 And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, bid me 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 caught him, saying to him, "O man 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."
Matthew reported only twice that Jesus prayed, here and in Gethsemane (26:36ff). Prayer in the Mediterranean region means "a message communicated to someone who is ultimately in charge of one's existence. The purpose of prayer is always to get results" [Pilch]. The result here was God's responding to Jesus' faith by calming the sea.
"Faith" can be understood as loyalty. Peter was distracted from his loyalty to Jesus because of fear (v.30). His cry, "Lord, save me" appeared also in Mt 8:25 and Psalm 69.
"Little faith" (v.31) might be ascribed of not only to Peter but also to other disciples and most Christians. There is recognition that Jesus is Lord, but there is also doubt. There is loyalty, but wavering at times. Yet there is hope for the people with little faith because "Jesus reached out his hand."
One Main Point
Jesus is the Son of God.
"It is I" (v.27) denotes divinity (Is 41:4 and 43:10). Walking on the water is also associated with God's action: "Who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the sea (Job 9:8; see also Ex 14:13-31, Ps 77:20, Is 43:16, Hab 3:15). People, after seeing Jesus' actions and power, also proclaim his divinity (v.33).
How much faith do I have in Jesus the Lord? What experiences do I have that bring me to the conclusion "Truly Jesus is the Son of God."
What were the storms in my life? Did they affect my loyalty to the Lord? What storms am I afraid of now?
Cry out to Jesus, "Lord, save me." What is Jesus' response?