Read: Matthew 14:22-33
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Jesus Shows His Almighty Power
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Uh-uh!” Maggie shook her head stubbornly and said it again, “Uh-uh!” Her eyes were wide open, her hands were shaking, and she was frozen in place. “Come on, Maggie. It’s OK. I’ll catch you,” her father said. “Go ahead and jump into the pool. I’m right here, and you’ll be fine.”
This went on for almost five minutes. Maggie’s dad kept assuring her that everything was going to be alright, but little three-year-old Maggie was terrified. The water seemed so deep, and she wasn’t sure she could swim. It didn’t matter that she had puffy unicorn floaties around her arms or that her father said he would catch her. She was so afraid!
Finally, Maggie somehow managed enough courage. She closed her eyes, plugged her nose, and jumped into the water. Sure enough, Maggie’s dad caught her, held her up, and she was floating in the water. “See that wasn’t so bad! Why didn’t you trust me, honey?”
Fear can make people do a lot of crazy things! But fear also keeps people from doing a lot of things. Fear might keep you away from snakes, the edges of really high buildings, or from going to the dentist. Worst of all, fear might keep you from trusting in God.
That happened to Peter in today’s story. Even though Jesus was walking on water in front of him and invited him to do the same, and even though he actually started to walk out onto the water, the wind and the waves terrified Peter, so he began to sink. When Jesus pulled him out of the water, he asked Peter why he didn’t trust him.
There are many things in life that are very scary—sickness and cancer, hurricanes and tornadoes, evil people doing bad things, and so much more. When you are afraid of something, do what Peter forgot to do. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Look at his power to help you. He can walk on water and save you like he saved Peter. Even better, look at his power at his cross and empty tomb. Jesus doesn’t just save us from worldly problems, Jesus saved us from our sins and from Satan! That almighty power makes Jesus someone that we can trust every single day!
Dear Jesus, when I am afraid, help me to trust in you. Remind me of your mighty power that saved me from my sin and comfort me with your strength. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What is something that you are afraid of?
- How does Jesus help with something you are afraid of?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- What does the word doubt mean?
- Why does Jesus’ empty tomb prove that we should never doubt him?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Explain this statement: If you have doubts about God, that proves you still have faith in God.
- Explain this statement: What matters is not how strong your faith is, but whom you put your faith in.
Hymn: CW 379:1,2 – Amazing Grace
Amazing grace—how sweet the sound—That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found, Was blind but now I see.
The Lord has promised good to me; His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be As long as life endures.