1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, "How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him." And the people answered him not a word.
Matthew 14:22-33 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You command me to come to You on the water.”29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
This message is powerful and relevant today. I hope you enjoy it! So many songs have been written and so many sermons preached about Jesus walking on the water, probably more than any other miracle Jesus performed during His three-year ministry. One of the outstanding features of this incident is Peter walking on the water but ultimately sinking, only to be rescued by Jesus and helped back into the boat.
Frequently, I've heard it said, “As long as Peter had his eyes on Jesus he was all right. When he stopped looking at Jesus and started to look at the water, that’s when he began to sink.”
Some preachers imply it is an either or situation. Peter either looked to Jesus in faith or he looked at the water in fear. This has been very much the normal explanation given. Verse 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” A closer look at a key word 'doubt' opens up the incident to an overlooked fact of simultaneous double vision. The word 'doubt' here is the Greek word distazo.
Dis is double stazo from statis meaning 'standing or status'. So distazo means 'standing in two ways'. It also means 'standing and looking where two ways come together.' Peter was actually looking AT Jesus AND also AT the boisterous waves simultaneously. His gaze wasn’t going back and forward between Jesus and the waves. Peter had one eye upon Jesus and one eye upon the stormy waves.
Distazo was used by Jesus to remind Peter that he began to sink because he was pulled apart by double vision. Peter was seeing two opposites at the same time with the same gaze.
James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Many Christians do this a lot. They believe they are focusing their eyes on Jesus then a problem comes or they get tired of waiting and they still look to the Lord, but one eye is on the problem the other on Jesus. Then uncertainty comes in and with it, the doubt, fear, and confusion.
Twenty-twenty vision is the technical term for equality in eyesight. When I joined the police force in Northern Ireland almost 60 years ago, I had 20/20 vision. Anything less was not acceptable in those early days, but times have changed. It means both eyes functioning in a harmonious pairing of vision. The Lord can help us with our spiritual vision to be 20/20.
Distazo is 'divided focus.' Jesus, by His Spirit, unites our sight faculties so that we may concentrate our gaze directly upon Him at all times, rather than looking two ways at Him and the problem. As many Australians say we must become one-eyed!