IN THOSE DAYS, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them.
And early in the morning Jesus came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I. Do not be afraid.”
Peter answered Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Jesus said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when Peter noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught Peter, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped Jesus, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” When they had crossed over the lake, they came to land of Gennesaret.
Of the many miracles performed by the Lord in the pages of the Gospels, His dominion over nature may seem the most unbelievable. We've grown accustomed to Him healing and even resurrecting people, proclaiming forgiveness unto sinners, but commanding the storms, withering the tree, or walking on water feel like "too much."
Every miracle that Jesus did was for the benefit of those participating, but it was also to manifest something very important about Himself - that He is God. God has bestowed the gift of healing to human beings, most notably to doctors. We are even able to bring someone back to life, if they lost a pulse for a minute or two. The Lord also commanded us to forgive those who trespass against us; even though it is God alone Who forgives totally and completely.
However, no matter how hard we try, we can't control the nature. We can make the nature better or worse, by recycling our own garbage or by polluting everything around us, but we can't make it do what we want. There are two very simple reasons why we can't do it - the nature is not our creation and God did not give us the power to control it at our whim. And thank God for that because we would probably mess it up more than we already have.
Seeing God's power and control over disease, sin, nature, and death should lead us to the same fear and amazement that the disciples experienced seeing Christ walk on water and rebuke the storm. And this fear and amazement led to worship. Worship is reserved only for God. Worship includes realizing how small and insignificant we are before the One we are worshipping. Worship is also expressing, in words and actions, Who it is we are worshipping. The disciples, falling down before Jesus, confessed Him, "Truly You are the Son of God."
Christ's miracles are not reserved to first century Israel. He continues to work in His Church, healing, forgiving, and protecting us (and even when He doesn't, it's not for punishment, but for our repentance and reconciliation with Him). Like the disciples and the huge crowds that followed Him, we continue to express fear and amazement at His continual work in our lives, and worship Him, confessing that He is indeed the Son of God, God incarnate, our only Savior.
Yours in the Lord,
Father Aleksey - your friendly Singac priest