"Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess" ( Hebrews 3:1 )
Christianity is the only religion in the world that has a Savior; this makes it special and unique. It is the only religion that is less about what you do for salvation and more about what Jesus did for you. When we confess that we are a Christian, we confess our faith and trust in Jesus as our personal savior and the only way to heaven. This is why it is important to look at Christ and constantly focus our attention on Him. When we do, He will keep our hearts and minds in perfect peace even in the midst of the trouble of this world.
In the gospel of Matthew, there is an account of Peter walking on the water ( Matthew 14:22-36 ). The disciples were in the middle of the sea trying to cross over and they were buffeted by the wind on every side. They had been struggling and fighting the storm all night. It seemed like a hopeless and dangerous situation for them. Early in the morning they looked out and saw a figure walking toward them on top of the water and they were terrified. They screamed with fright assuming it was a ghost. But Jesus told them to take courage because it was Him. When Peter heard this he asked Jesus to tell him to come out to Him on the water. Jesus' answer was to come.
Peter stepped out of the boat and walked toward Jesus. I imagine he walked quite a ways. But the longer he was out on the water and the closer he got to Jesus, His mind began telling him that He shouldn't be able to walk on water. Then Matthew records "But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" ( Matthew 14:30 ). What happened is he took his eyes off Jesus for a split second. He felt the strong wind and perceived the physical danger becoming frightened by it. Nothing had changed except his perception of the situation. Instead of looking toward Jesus and focusing on Him and His ability he was distracted by what was going on around him and it affected his ability to walk on the water.
Notice he began to sink, it was a gradual thing, and he didn't just fall into the water completely immersed. When he was focused and fixed on Jesus he walked across the water, but when his attention was on the storm he sank. He was very close to Jesus at this time too because the Bible records, "Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.”You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" ( Matthew 14:31 ). He was all but there. He showed marvelous faith in getting out of the boat. He walked a long way toward Jesus but near the end something changed. He became aware of the situation, which was physically impossible and instead of understanding that it was Jesus who held him he looked to himself and failed. Thankfully Jesus was right there to rescue him. In the same way Jesus has promised to be with us always ( John 14:8, Hebrews 13:5 ).
This is a parallel for life and something that the writer of Hebrews reminds us of in this passage. "Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess" ( Hebrews 3:1 ). If we are to get through life we need to constantly focus on Jesus as we can do nothing on our own. By thoughtfully and attentively considering Jesus in all things, we too can be a water walker.
Tomorrow we look at Part 2: Believers are Consecrated and Set Apart to God