“But instantly He spoke to them, saying, take courage! I AM; stop being afraid!”
The Amplified Bible says Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water. Matthew 14:27 is a quote that contains very strong language. Jesus is claiming to be the I AM. This statement traces all the way back to Exodus chapter 3 where the angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in the midst of a burning bush. Moses purposed to turn aside and see the great sight. When God saw Moses turn aside (in other words Moses went out of the way to see this), God at that point called out to him from the midst of the bush. Moses was called by name and told not to come near, but put his shoes off for the place in which he stood was holy ground. God then revealed that He was the God of Israel’s fathers and He was aware of the suffering of His people by their task masters in Egypt. He further said, “I have come down to deliver them because I wish to bring them into a good land, a large land flowing with milk and honey.” It was a place of plenty.
In Matthew 14 Jesus uses the very same I AM words. Peter is encouraged to leave his fears and inhibitions behind and dare to walk on water. Moses was also challenged by I AM to leave aside all of his inadequacies, listen to the voice of God, and dare to move into something that was totally uncomfortable for him. Peter had no time to think about his limitations, but was only fixed on the word “come” that Jesus gave him as the I AM.
The question that follows is, “Does God still encounter His people in the same way?” Does He have the divine right to break through our fears and limitations to draw us up in to a higher place of understanding and revelation of who He is? It is not God’s desire to hold us back. When Moses first heard the I AM, he certainly had a powerful pedigree. His experience at the time was one of a man who had lost most of what he was as a person raised in a different culture. He was now just a lowly sheep herder in a desert place.
Peter himself was rather ordinary. He was a fisherman. In both of these cases, there was an immediate change, a startling event that is recorded for us to see. Those encounters at such a life changing moment are never forgotten. They become the benchmark experience that defined their lives.
Does God want us to move forward? Does He have a plan for us? Is He interested in lifting me above the strong winds that are frightening to me? Is there a hand that is stretching forth before I sink that lifts me back up and causes me to walk again in impossible places? The question still remains. Where is your faith? Why do you doubt? The I AM still has the capability and the power to cause us to come out of all our “stuck places” and cause us to move forward in all that He has for us.