Wednesday 19 October 2022

Bible Book:

'You of little faith, why did you doubt?' (v. 31)

Matthew 14:22-33 Wednesday 19 October 2022

Psalm 85


Jesus had started the day trying to find a quiet place to be alone with his thoughts and prayers, as well as perhaps wanting an opportunity to recharge his energy levels, but his plan rapidly changed as the crowds heard where he was and followed him. (Matthew 14:13) After a long day he tries again in the evening to find some peace and quiet, dismissing the crowds, directing his disciples on to the lake while he heads in the opposite direction up the hillside. The plan works, and Jesus spends all evening and through to the early morning alone, only to be disturbed by the impact of a strong wind on the lake.

Most of the disciples would be very familiar with sailing on Lake Galilee, and would know how rapidly weather patterns could change, so it wasn’t the storm that caused their terror, but the unexpected appearance of what they thought to be a ghost walking towards them. (Luke's Gospel has a similar account but Jesus is sleeping in the boat and it is the risk of the storm causing the boat to capsize that causes the disciples' terror (Luke 8:23-24).) It’s notable that even as he approached they didn’t recognise him and it took the words of Jesus rather than anything they’d seen to reassure them.

This episode was clearly important to the Early Church as it is one of the few incidents to be recorded in all four gospels, albeit in slightly varying forms. However Matthew is the only one to include Peter’s impulsive reaction which suggests his gut instinct for faith, only for his head to suddenly doubt and for Jesus to be his saviour. As with his three-fold denial of knowledge of Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75), it was Jesus who was there for him, restored him (John 21:15-19) and ultimately empowered him for the mission he was to take forward. And it wasn’t just Peter. Once they’d realised what had happened, all those in the boat worshipped the one who brought peace.

To Ponder:

  • How do you make time to be quiet and pray? Are there different ways you could try?
  • Are there times when doubts can become overwhelming, as if in a storm of uncertainty? Think about the ways God is present, brings peace and restores faith.


We pray for those who work at sea and have to contend with traumatic storms. Lord, please keep them safe today and every day.

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