By Jon Walker, author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's 'The Cost of Discipleship'
'Come!' answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. [ Matthew 14:29 (TEV)]
When Peter stepped out of the storm-tossed boat and onto the water, where was the safest place to be? In the boat or in the arms of Jesus?
The answer, of course, is to be with Jesus, and for a brief time, Peter saw that. Right then he got a glimpse of what it is like to TRUST in Jesus and what it is like to operate within the realm of costly grace as a citizen of the kingdom of heaven.
And we get a glimpse of that too. We see that following Jesus requires us to step into apparent insecurity in order to find true security.
It's a paradox of faith: Our first step of faith places us in a position where faith becomes possible. By our obedience, we learn to be faithful. If we refuse to follow, we never learn how to believe. We stay stuck in the shallow end of faith, trusting in ourselves, living by sight and not by faith.
The essence of discipleship is Jesus constantly pushing us into new situations where it is possible for us to trust him even more. He pushes us toward "the impossible situation in which everything is staked solely on the word of Jesus," says the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.