In the first article of this two-part series, the Savior calmed the wind and waves in the Sea of Galilee. In this article he walked on water to the ship. He teaches Peter (and us) an important lesson in this miracle.
The Miracle (Matthew 14: 22-33 in the Bible)
“When a large multitude followed the Savior to a secluded area, He taught them and then miraculously fed them. In the evening, He sent the disciples out on a boat to go ahead of Him across the sea. He dispersed the multitude, and then He went up a nearby hill to pray.
There was a strong headwind on the sea, and the disciples had made little progress. Later that night, the Savior chose to meet up with them in a miraculous way: by walking on the water.
When Peter saw Him, he wanted to leave the comparative safety of the boat to emulate the Savior and walk on water. Peter was initially successful, but when fear took over, he began to sink until the Savior rescued him.
One of the physical implications of this miracle is that the Savior’s understanding of gravity, fluid dynamics, and other principles of physics is on a level far above our own. Our scientific understanding of gravity, for example, has developed over time. In the 1600s, Sir Isaac Newton mathematically described gravity as a force that acts between any two masses in the universe. The English scientist Henry Cavendish, at the end of the 18th century, demonstrated that there is a measurable force of gravity. The view of gravity as a force changed when Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity in 1915. His explanation of gravity, which is now widely accepted, is that masses create a distortion of the fabric of both time and space.
As our understanding of gravity has grown, we have applied that understanding in ways that have changed our perception of the limitations that gravity imposes upon us. For example, imagine what it would have been like to be one of the thousands in New York City along the Hudson River in 1909 as Wilbur Wright soared up into the sky and flew over the river and around the Statue of Liberty. The people of that day were in awe as Wilbur Wright seemed to defy gravity. They had witnessed a miracle—the miracle of flight.
The miracle of the Savior walking on the Sea of Galilee shows that we still have much to learn about gravity and other physical laws. There are so many things we don’t completely understand.
The Savior may also have been teaching His disciples then and now about His power to strengthen, lift, and enable. We all face the wind and waves of challenges in this life. As with Peter, so it is with us. Sometimes the storms are not abated, and the only way through them and on to our eternal destiny is to step out into the storm with a determined focus on the Savior.
We have to have faith in the Savior’s enabling power to help us overcome our own fears and limitations.
There are so many lessons from these miracles that will help and inspire us as we progress along our own journey. The miracles of the Savior stand as a great witness of His divinity, His intelligence, and His great atoning sacrifice for each of us. Through His power we can have peace when the waves threaten to engulf us, and we can have confidence that He will lift us to a higher realm in the kingdom of our Father.
He truly has the power to calm the storms as well as the sailors.” (Part of the Article by Stephen Turcotte, Peace, Be Still: Calming Our Storms, February, 2023 in the Liahona Magazine was quoted)
Increasing Our Faith
What strengthens my faith is to realize that the “Great Creator” is my loving Heavenly Father and I am His son. If I trust in Him and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ and seek His help and direction He will help me through the worldly destructive land mines of sin and lead me to accomplish my earthly mission and be prepared to return to His presence. The good news of the gospel is not the promise of a life free of sorrow and tribulation but a life full of purpose and meaning—a life where our sorrows and afflictions can be swallowed up in the joy of Christ
“For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet but is nigh at hand.” (Doctrine and Covenants 58: 4)