Why Were the Disciples Afraid When They Saw Jesus Walking on Water?

When Jesus walked on water, it was a momentous occasion that left his disciples in awe and filled with fear. The biblical account of this event is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 14, verses 22-33.

The Context

Before we delve into the reasons why the disciples were afraid when they saw Jesus walking on water, let’s first establish the context of this event. Jesus had just finished feeding a multitude of people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. After this miraculous feat, he sent his disciples ahead of him to cross the Sea of Galilee while he stayed back to pray.

As the disciples were crossing the sea, a strong wind arose and began to toss their boat around. In the midst of this turmoil, they saw someone walking towards them on the water. At first, they thought it was a ghost and were terrified.

The Fear Factor

So why were the disciples afraid when they saw Jesus walking on water? There are several possible reasons.

Firstly, walking on water defies all natural laws and is something that no human being can do. The fact that Jesus was able to walk on water was evidence that he was not just an ordinary man but someone with supernatural powers. This realization would have been both awe-inspiring and frightening for his disciples.

Secondly, the sea was a symbol of chaos and danger in ancient Jewish culture. It was believed to be inhabited by demons and other malevolent spirits. Seeing someone walking on water would have been interpreted as a sign that these dark forces were at work.

The Reassurance

Despite their fear, Jesus reassured his disciples by telling them “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27).

Peter then asked if he could join Jesus on the water and began to walk towards him, but soon became afraid and began to sink. Jesus reached out his hand and saved him, saying “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31).

This event not only demonstrated Jesus’ supernatural power but also his compassion and concern for his disciples. He understood their fears and doubts and was able to calm them with his words and actions.

The Lesson

So what can we learn from this story? Firstly, that Jesus is not just an ordinary man but a divine being with the power to defy natural laws. Secondly, that even in the midst of chaos and danger, we can find reassurance in his presence.

Finally, we can learn that faith requires trust and belief in something greater than ourselves. Just as Peter had to step out of the boat in faith to walk towards Jesus, so too must we take steps of faith in our own lives.

  • Walking on water was a miraculous feat that defied natural laws.
  • The sea was a symbol of chaos and danger in ancient Jewish culture.
  • Jesus reassured his disciples with his words and actions.
  • Faith requires trust and belief in something greater than ourselves.

In conclusion, the disciples were afraid when they saw Jesus walking on water because it defied all natural laws and represented a symbol of chaos and danger. However, Jesus was able to reassure them with his words and actions, demonstrating both his supernatural power and compassion for his followers. This event serves as a reminder for us to have faith in something greater than ourselves and to take steps of faith even when we are afraid.