Sunday, June 26, 2011

Was Peter a "Better" Disciple Because He Walked on Water?

As I ponder the familiar story of Peter walking on the water, I wonder if we might be tempted to classify Peter as a "special" or even "super" disciple because he did something that not only wasn't done by any one else who was in his boat that night, but to my knowledge, hasn't been done since. By most measurements, that would put Peter in a category by himself.

And while that is true, I don't think it makes him a "better" disciple. It just gives him an experience with Jesus that was different than the others.

Peter challenged the "ghost" who claimed to be Jesus to prove He was who He said he was by inviting Peter to come to where He was: out of the "safety" of the boat and on to turbulent water. Jesus obliged and while any if not all of the occupants in the boat could've gotten out, only Peter did.

As it turned out, all of the disciples experienced Jesus that night and the cumulative result was worship. All of them received Jesus into the boat and all of them landed safely at their destination- with Jesus right by their side. Peter's experience was different but not better.

I wonder if my current experience could be compared to Peter's. I am drawn to an unconventional Jesus who to most is explained in the best terms they can muster when what they "see" doesn't fit their paradigm: "He's a ghost." I am willing to challenge the perceptions of my fellow boat occupants and request an experience with something (Someone) that doesn't make sense by earthly standards.

Jesus obliges our questions and interests. The waves are scary and the future is uncertain. Even with the weakness of my faith and the questions raised by the experience itself, Jesus is present.

I am no better than others who are comfortable in the boat and who still worship Jesus. I just am experiencing something different if not transcendent at Jesus' invitation. I hope my faith will allow me to courageously step out of the boat to be with a Jesus that other's are afraid to challenge.

Apparently, Jesus welcomes the challenge and invites followers to experience Him in ways that blow our minds.

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