Jesus’ walking on the water is not simply a demonstration of His miraculous power. It is more basically an explanation of who Jesus is. Jesus does what God does. Jesus speaks of Himself in the same way God speaks of Himself: Jesus proclaims, “It is I, “echoing God’s saying His name to Moses—”I am who am”. (The echo is clearer in Greek than English.)
Peter’s walking on and sinking into the water demonstrates what it means to have ”little faith.” Peter has faith. He joins the others in the boat in doing homage to Jesus and professing, ”truly, you are the Son of God.” Peter also has faith enough to keep from sinking when he realizes how strong the winds are, and how deep the waters.
We can likely see our own faith life portrayed in this scene. We recognize who Jesus is; we profess Him as the Son of God. We want to follow Him, but we sometimes become terrified by the winds that buffet us in life, and we begin to sink. We too cry out, “Lord save Me!” Jesus stretches His hands out to us and says, ”take courage, it is I. Do not be afraid.”
Through Peter, Matthew has shown us what it is to be a disciple. We will doubt and will need to be pulled up by Jesus time and time again. However, we also can share in the dignity and power of Jesus. With enough faith in Jesus, we can do many things—maybe even walk on water.