Let us consider one short section of Scripture that involves a dialogue between Jesus and Peter. Peter might have asked himself, “Could I walk with Jesus?” when Jesus was supernaturally walking on the water. Jesus had one word for Peter and only one word for you and me: "Come." When Peter came, he had a supernatural experience with God and God’s power.
The following is the story of Peter’s experience when he responded to Jesus’ command to “come”:
"Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear.
"But Jesus immediately said to them: 'Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.'
"'Lord, if it’s you,' Peter replied, 'tell me to come to you on the water.'
"'Come,' he said.
"Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!'
"Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'
"And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God.'” -Matthew 14:25-33
Who is this God-Man called the Son of God who is worshiped by men, supernaturally walks on water, and tells people like us to “come” to him?
Philip Schaff has described Jesus in the following way:
“Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander the Great, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning, he shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of school, he spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, he set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times. Born in a manger, and crucified as a malefactor, He now controls the destinies of the civilized world, and rules a spiritual empire which embraces one-third of the inhabitants of the globe.”
You know His name, the One we call the Incarnation of God. It is Jesus.
His birthplace was Bethlehem. His city was Nazareth. His trade was a carpenter. His calling was unique. His words were profound. His destiny was death.
In some ways He was like us.
Here was a man born of a peasant woman who grew up in a typical family, never wrote a book, possessed neither wealth nor influence, and never ran for political office.
But it was obvious that He was different from us.
He came from Heaven to be a servant. He came from a throne to carry a cross. He laid aside majesty to bear the wounds of those He loves.
In infancy He startled kings. In childhood He puzzled religious leaders. In manhood He ruled the course of nature and hushed the sea.
James Stewart speaks about his unique contrast as he describes His personality:
“He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men, yet he spoke of coming on the clouds of heaven with the glory of God. He was so austere that evil spirits and demons cried out in terror at his coming, yet he was so genial and winsome and approachable that the children loved to play with him, and the little ones nestled in his arms. His presence at the innocent gaiety of a village wedding was like the presence of sunshine.
"No one was half so compassionate to sinners, yet no one ever spoke such red hot scorching words about sin. A bruised reed he would not break, his whole life was love, yet on one occasion he demanded of the Pharisees how they ever expected to escape the damnation of Hell. He was a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions, yet for sheer stark realism He has all of our stark realists soundly beaten. He was a servant of all, washing the disciples feet, yet masterfully He strode into the temple, and the hucksters and moneychangers fell over one another to get away from the mad rush and the fire they saw blazing in His eyes.
"He saved others, yet at the last Himself He did not save.”
The author concludes by saying:
“There is nothing in history like the union of contrasts which confronts us in the gospels. The mystery of Jesus is the mystery of divine personality.”
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.