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Verses 28-31

Matthew 14:28-31. And Peter said, Lord, if it be thou Or, since it is thou, (the particle if frequently bearing this meaning;) bid me come unto thee on the water This was a rash request, proceeding from the warmth and forwardness of Peter’s natural temper. And he said, Come Our Lord granted his request, doubtless with a view to show him the weakness of his faith, and thereby to give a check to the high opinion he seems to have entertained of himself, as well as to demonstrate the greatness of his own power: for in supporting Peter on the water along with himself, he manifested greater power than if he had walked thereon singly. And when Peter was come down out of the ship Being fully satisfied that Jesus was able to uphold and bear him up; he walked on the water For a while; no little pleased, we may suppose, to find it firm under his feet. But when he saw the wind boisterous Doubtless it became more so than before, making a dreadful noise, and causing the sea to rage horribly: he was afraid His faith failed, his courage staggered, and, in the hurry of his thoughts, he forgot that Jesus was at hand, and was seized with a sudden terror. And now the secret power of God, which, while Peter confidently relied on Jesus, had made the sea firm under him, began to be withdrawn, and in proportion as his faith decreased, the water yielded, and he sunk. In this extremity he looked round for Christ, and on the very brink of being swallowed up, cried, Lord, save me Peter, being a fisherman, had been used to the sea, and it appears from John 21:7, was a skilful swimmer. And probably he ventured on the attempt he now made with some secret dependance on his art, which God, for wise reasons, suffered to fail him. The word καταποντιζεσθαι , here rendered to sink, is very expressive, and may intimate that he felt himself sinking with such a weight that he had no hope of recovering himself, and expected nothing but that he should go directly to the bottom of the sea. Immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him Dealing thus mercifully with his servant, in not suffering him to perish as a punishment of his preceding rashness and self- confidence, and his subsequent diffidence and distrust of Christ’s power: And said, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? Namely, of my protection, when I was so near? when thou hadst my commission to make the trial, and hadst in part experienced my power in supporting thee thus far on the waves? The reader must observe, Peter did not doubt that it was Jesus who walked upon the water. He was convinced of that before he left the vessel; yea, and while he was sinking; otherwise he would not have called to him for assistance: but he was afraid that Jesus could not, or would not support him against the wind, which blew more fiercely than before; a doubt most unreasonable, since it was as easy for Christ to support him against the storm, as to keep him up on the water, which Jesus had virtually promised to do in his permission, and which he had actually performed while Peter relied on him. “The people of God, warned by this example, should beware of presumption and self-sufficiency, and in all their actions should take care not to be precipitate. Wherever God calls them, they are boldly to go, not terrified at the danger or difficulty of the duty; his providence being always able to support and protect them. But he who goes without a call, or proceeds further than he is called; who rushes into difficulties and temptations without any reason, may, by the unhappy issue of his conduct, be made to feel how dangerous a thing it is for a person to go out of his sphere.” Macknight.

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