And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
As much as we try to break free, we are all constrained. We are constrained by the rules of the universe. Humanity has accomplished some great things in our history. But always within the rules.
The disciples in the boat that night struggled against these same invariable forces of nature. Being fishermen, they knew the power of wind and waves. They had probably known men who had drown in this lake. They had comforted grieving widows and contributed to support their orphaned children. It is what men who make a living on the water do.
This night, however, they encountered one who did not need to obey those rules. He could bend those rules, they realized, because he had written them. He walked out to them on the water. He even called Peter from the boat to walk with him. Peter did, though fear caused him to take his eyes off Jesus and he needed rescuing.
Look again at what the disciples do when Peter and Jesus get back into the boat. For pious, even zealous Jewish men this is significant. They worship Jesus. They know that they may only worship One – the One who created the world, parted the Red Sea, put David on his throne, and sent the prophets. Jesus is that One. The world has largely rejected God because they often imagine the god whom they reject to be less than the forces which govern this universe. We reject such a god as well. Rather, we worship this God, this One who wrote the rules and sustains the cosmos.