Parable of the mistaken braggarts

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An old tradition comes down to us from the Jerusalem church that in a small town by the ocean, so it goes, there lived several fishermen who claimed to have been on Lake Galilee when the Apostle Peter walked upon the water.  They further made claim to completing a similar act of faith, to wit they too walked upon the water.  A listener was intrigued, yet he had some skepticism, so he inquired further as to the deeds these men proclaimed.  The listener asked each man to tell his miracle of faith.

The first stated that he was upon the lake at the time Jesus called to Peter.  The sea was much more violent than what was described in the Bible, and that his boat was very close to the apostles’ boat.  When he had observed Peter getting out of the boat, he too decided to get his feet wet, and so he placed his legs over the gunnel and felt the sheer exhilaration of the effort, though he never stepped out onto the surface.  The second man also repeated a similar story, except that he ventured farther than the first, and dove into the sea at great peril and then returned to the boat – stating that the memory of the thrill lasts to this day.  The third man admitted that he fell over board during the tossing of the waves, but seeing Peter gave him hope of lifting himself back into his boat.

The listener was dissatisfied with the group’s stories, and admonished them – they had not completed any act of faith.  He commended them for their prowess, and determination, but they obviously had not walked on the water.

“You mean you expected us to actually walk on the water?” they queried.  “No one but God can do that!”

The listener stated that they were absolutely correct in asserting the miracle to God, but noted Peter’s success.  While they scratched their heads, the listener added, “Peter walked on the water because he believed that Christ would hold him up, for he heard the word of Jesus state so securely, “Come.”

The group of men looked at each other and bade their listener as to whom he was.  His reply reverberated: Peter, bar Jonah, brother to Andrew, and by adoption, the lesser brother of Jesus of Nazareth.

“The righteous shall live by faith.” Gal 3:11 NIV

 

“Consequently, faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”  Rom.10:17  NIV

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