By itself, Matthew 14:32 might seem like a benign verse,
“And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.” (ESV)
Many churchgoers will identify the context and story behind this verse instantly. Jesus sends his closest disciples by boat across the Sea of Galilee and catches up with them later–walking on water through a storm. Seeing Jesus, Peter calls to Him and responds to Jesus’ command to join Him. Walking out onto the water, Peter sees the wind, has a moment of doubt, and begins to sink. Jesus reaches out, takes ahold of Peter, pulls him up, and questions Peter’s doubt.
Now, you might have heard many sermons on this story. Usually, the focus is on faith and doubt, Jesus’ saving power and divine nature, or how we respond to storms in our lives–and these are all great nuggets of wisdom to mine from this story.
Today, I want to focus for just a moment on the rarely discussed implications of verse 32. See, after Jesus pulled Peter out of the water, it seems that He walked with Peter back to the boat. Only then did the wind, the object of Peter’s fears, die down and cease. Yes, Jesus reached Peter and saved him from drowning, but He also walked him through his fears and doubts, back to safety and the end of the storm.
Consider Pastor Kaweme Precious, who lives by Lake Mweru in a small, rural corner of Zambia. He became an evangelist and preacher at age 17, and has traveled much of the country, reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In his later years, God called him to a small fishing village called Chiengi. Here he sacrificed much to build a church and minister to the people. Over time, the community developed a strong desire to have the Bible in their own language–many still see God as a foreign deity. How does God not speak their language?
God has given Pastor Kaweme a dream to see the Bible translated into Bwile, and he has opened up his church and personal resources to a translation team. He says,
“translating the Bible is the greatest ministry that any person can get involved with. I can evangelize to the Bwile people and it will last for my lifetime, but the Word of God will stand forever.”
There comes a time for each of us when we feel alone–sinking in a storm–but there is one reaching for us. Jesus pulls us to Himself and walks with us back to the boat. Herein is a call for all of God’s children; let us walk together, with Jesus Christ, through our fears, doubt, and trials. Let us join Christ in walking with each other.
Our work goes far beyond delivering a book. By walking together, our partners, translators, committees, and office staff increase God’s legacy and glory in communities that are calling out to Jesus in the midst of a storm. You can join us, in joining with Christ, in walking with these beloved disciples towards a glorious end!