Peter answered Him (Jesus) and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
- Mark 14:28-30
Peter's mistake was not in leaving the ship, but in looking at the waves and the wind instead of looking off unto Jesus. He had entered upon a path which could only be trodden by faith-- a path in which, if he had not Jesus, he had nothing at all. It was either walking with Jesus on the water or sinking beneath it without Him.
Nothing but faith could sustain the heart in such a course. But faith could sustain, for faith can live amid the roughest waves and the stormiest skies. Faith can walk on the roughest waters; unbelief cannot walk on the smoothest.
But Peter failed. Does that prove he was wrong in obeying the call of his Lord? Did Jesus reprove him for leaving the ship? Ah! no; that would not have been like Him. He could not tell His poor servant to come and then rebuke him for coming. Hence we read, "Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'" (verse 31).
And where was Peter when he heard this? In the arms of the Lord! What a place! Peter was right in leaving the ship, and although he broke down in that path on which he had entered, it only led him into a sense of his own weakness and of the grace and love of his Lord.
What is the moral of all this to us? Simply this: Jesus calls us forth from the things of time and sense to walk with Him. He summons us to abandon all our earthly hopes and creature-confidences-- the props on which our poor hearts lean. His voice may be heard far above the din of waves and storms, and that voice says, "Come!"
Oh, let us obey! He wants to have us near Himself, walking with and leaning on Him, not looking at circumstances but looking only and always unto Him.
Charles H. Mackintosh