This is a talk I gave to high school students during Young Life club.
Something you should know about me is that I’m a 6 on the enneagram. A 6 is the Loyalist, which on the positive side means I’m a dedicated friend but on the negative side says I’m afraid of everything.
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the future and who I want to be. The things that excite me about the future such as meeting new people and living in a new place also scare me.
But a couple months ago I was praying about where I wanted to be in the future. I was praying with a discernment meditation where you meet Jesus for lunch and He gives you a gift that’s perfectly wrapped. He tells you “These are the plans I for your life, you can accept them or reject them and I’ll still love you, but the one thing you can’t do is open the box before you accept or reject My gift.” In my prayer, I was sitting on my friend’s porch and I brought my own box of all the things I want in my life. As if to reply “Yes but these are all the things I want, and I don’t know if what you have in there is the same as what I have here.” Jesus looked at my box, smiled and said, “Don’t you trust me?”
Thinking about that prayer brought me to one of my favorite passages in the Bible, where Peter has a hard time trusting Jesus. Jesus is both fully God and fully man. He travelled with His disciples teaching them about Himself and how to share His words with others. At this point in the Bible, even though Jesus has been performing miracles and teaching, some still don’t believe He is the Son of God – that He is who is says He is and can do what He says He can do.
Read Matthew 14:22-33
We’re going to look at how Peter and Jesus’ relationship is just how Jesus calls us to be in relationship with Him. Peter has been with Jesus for a while and as he’s getting to know Him, he sees there’s something different about Jesus. There’s something about Jesus’ love, the way He heals, and His relationship with God the Father that Peter desires and wants to be a part of.
Peter wants to be called and Jesus responds “come.”
But Peter also wants to be sure Jesus is who He says He is, so he asks “if it is you, if you really are who you say you are, command me to come, just call me.” Because Peter wants to be sought after when he says “command me to come.” Each of us wants to belong and to be loved, whether it’s in our friend groups, family, school, or sports. We want to be invited! Life with Jesus is always an open invitation! This is the kind of love Jesus offers, a love that is overwhelming and will continue to chase after you until you let Him in.
Jesus validates Peter’s apprehensiveness right away. He says “come.” I’ve seen in my own life and my Young Life leaders taught me that Jesus invites us to “come and see.” This is Jesus’ invitation to be bold and to be in relationship with Him. He desires for you to know Him not just to know about Him. There’s a difference, right? When I know about someone, I know a bunch of little facts. But when I truly know someone, I know their heart, I spend time with them, I listen to them. This is the personal relationship that Jesus wants with each and every one of you.
Once Peter says yes and goes to Jesus, it only gets hard when he takes his eyes off Jesus.
Now, when we accept Jesus’ call to come and have a relationship with us, when we let Him see and love our hearts, it’s not going to be easy.
If we look at COVID, maybe you asked yourself these questions. Who am I if I don’t get to go out on the weekend? Who am I if I can’t play that sport? Who am I if I can’t hang out with my friends? Who am I if I have to stay at home with my family? When it took away all of those things that we put our identity in – we are left alone with Jesus. Perhaps COVID had to strip us of everything we thought we needed to remind us of who we are in Him. That we are His children first and everything else comes second.
If it were easy, Jesus would not have suffered and died a brutal death on the cross, for each of you. For Peter, fear comes in and walking on water becomes hard. He starts to sink because He took is eyes off Jesus. As soon as Peter begins to fall, it says Jesus immediately reached for him. When we sin and have separated ourselves from Jesus or turn away from Him, Jesus does not hesitate to bring us back.
Are you going to take the step to trust Jesus?
But He calls Peter out saying “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” He’s asking, “Don’t you trust me?” Because Jesus is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do. He is all-loving, all-powerful, and all-knowing. He calls you His child and desires to really know you.
Jesus wants to have a personal relationship with you. He wants you to know Him and not just know about Him.
When we say yes to Jesus, it’s not always going to be easy, but we need to keep our eyes fixed on Him because He knows who we truly are. We are His children and He loves us.
Are you willing to take the next step and trust Jesus? Do you trust in His goodness, forgiveness, and love? That He is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do? Do you trust Him to be at the center of your life?