Matthew 14:28
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be you, bid me come to you on the water.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(28, 29) And Peter answered him.—The incident that follows is narrated by St. Matthew only. It may have been one which the Apostle did not willingly recall, and which was therefore omitted by his disciple St. Mark and by his friend St. John, while St. Luke, writing as a compiler, came into the circle of those among whom it was seldom, if ever, mentioned. It is, however, eminently characteristic. Eager but not steadfast, daring and yet fearful, the Apostle is on that stormy night, as he was afterwards among the scoffs and questionings in the porch of the high priest’s palace. “If it be Thou . . .” The voice, the form are not enough for him. It may yet, he thinks, be a spectre or a dream, and therefore he demands a sign. He, too, must walk upon the waters. And at first his faith sustains him. He is a sharer with his Master in that intensity of spiritual life which suspends the action of natural laws by one which is supernatural.

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the secret power of God, which, while Peter confidently relied on Jesus, had made the sea firm under him, began to be withdrawn, and in proportion as his faith decreased, the water yielded, and he sunk.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. 14:22-33 Those are not Christ's followers who cannot enjoy being alone with God and their own hearts. It is good, upon special occasions, and when we find our hearts enlarged, to continue long in secret prayer, and in pouring out our hearts before the Lord. It is no new thing for Christ's disciples to meet with storms in the way of duty, but he thereby shows himself with the more grace to them and for them. He can take what way he pleases to save his people. But even appearances of deliverance sometimes occasion trouble and perplexity to God's people, from mistakes about Christ. Nothing ought to affright those that have Christ near them, and know he is theirs; not death itself. Peter walked upon the water, not for diversion or to boast of it, but to go to Jesus; and in that he was thus wonderfully borne up. Special supports are promised, and are to be expected, but only in spiritual pursuits; nor can we ever come to Jesus, unless we are upheld by his power. Christ bade Peter come, not only that he might walk upon the water, and so know his Lord's power, but that he might know his own weakness. And the Lord often lets his servants have their choice, to humble and prove them, and to show the greatness of his power and grace. When we look off from Christ, and look at the greatness of opposing difficulties, we shall begin to fall; but when we call to him, he will stretch out his arm, and save us. Christ is the great Saviour; those who would be saved, must come to him, and cry to him, for salvation; we are never brought to this, till we find ourselves sinking: the sense of need drives us to him. He rebuked Peter. Could we but believe more, we should suffer less. The weakness of faith, and the prevailing of our doubts, displease our Lord Jesus, for there is no good reason why Christ's disciples should be of a doubtful mind. Even in a stormy day he is to them a very present help. None but the world's Creator could multiply the loaves, none but its Governor could tread upon the waters of the sea: the disciples yield to the evidence, and confess their faith. They were suitably affected, and worshipped Christ. He that comes to God, must believe; and he that believes in God, will come, Heb 11:6.And Peter answered ... - Here is an instance of the characteristic ardor and rashness of Peter. He had less real faith than he supposed, and more ardor than his faith would justify. He was rash, headlong, incautious, really attached to Jesus, but still easily daunted and prone to fall. He was afraid, therefore, when in danger, and, sinking, cried again for help. Thus he was suffered to learn his own character, and his dependence on Jesus: a lesson which all Christians are permitted sooner or later to learn by dear-bought experience. 28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it is thou, bid me come to thee on the water—(Also see on [1304]Mr 6:50.) See Poole on "Matthew 14:31". And Peter answered him and said,.... Who knew his voice, and was ready to believe it might be Christ; and having more courage, and being more forward than the rest of the disciples, ventured to speak to him; saying,

Lord, if it be thou; for he was not fully assured that it was he: he might consider that nocturnal apparitions are deceitful, and that Satan can transform himself into an angel of light, and could put on the appearance, and mimic the voice of Christ; wherefore, to try whether it was a spectre, or really Christ, he says,

bid me come unto thee on the water; thereby expressing great love and affection to Christ, being willing to come to him, though through danger, through storms and tempests; and also his strong faith in him, supposing it to be he; who, he knew, was as able to support his body on the water, as his own; and yet much modesty, submission, and dependence; not willing to take a step without his order.

{4} And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

(4) By faith we tread under our feet even the tempests themselves, but only by the power of Christ, which helps that faith, which he by his mercy has given.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 14:28-33. Peter-episode, peculiar to Mt. The story is true to the character of Peter.Matthew 14:28. Κέλευσον, command) A remarkable exercise of faith. Peter, from desire for Jesus, leaves the vessel, whether he has to walk on the sea or to swim through it. Cf. John 21:7.Verses 28-31. - St. Peter's venture. Matthew only. Verse 28. - And; δέ, slightly adversative, because St. Peter's words were so contrary to what might have been expected. Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou (εἰ σὺ εῖ). No doubt is implied (Matthew 4:3, note). Bid me (κέλευσόν με); jube me (Vulgate). He will only come at Christ's command. In this lies the difference - and it is a decisive difference - from the second temptation (Matthew 4:6). Come unto thee on the water. Not "bid me walk on the water;" for he does not want to perform a miracle, but to come to Jesus. His request is not due to the hope of making a show, but to impulsive love. Observe, too, that he seems to have realized that the Lord would enable his followers to do as he himself did (cf. Chrysostom). On the water; the waters (Revised Version); rough though they were. Had we any ether account of this incident, it would be interesting to see if it contained these words. They read very like an explanatory addition by the narrator.
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