Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fear Factor

Remember that show that was popular in the early 2000’s called “Fear Factor?” (click on the link to refresh your memory)  It had contestants facing off with fearful situations ending up with one winner and the host always saying, “Fear is not a factor for you.” Whether it was eating live larva or getting into a box full of snakes, they overcame their fears and they were able to mentally push aside what they saw as an object of fear and see beyond that fear.

In Matthew 14:22-36 (NLT), we see the same thing happening.  This is the passage of the Bible where Jesus walks on water and the disciples witnessed it all. In fact in verse 26 it says, “When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!””  What I want to point out here is that ALL of the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water. Yet Peter was the only one who called out to Him (verse 28). As you know, the rest of the story is focused on Peter walking out onto the water towards Jesus while the rest of the disciples were frozen with fear on the boat. Then Peter’s fear gets the best of him and he begins to sink.  Jesus then reaches out and grabs Peter and they both climb back into the boat.

So why was Peter the only one to experience this?

1)   They all had the opportunity to speak to Jesus –but they were all afraid, except Peter
2)   They all had the opportunity to walk on water to Jesus; Jesus would have invited any of them –but they were all afraid, except Peter who stepped out in faith
3)   Peter was the only one who was fearless enough to even speak, to what they thought, was a ghost
4)   Peter received Jesus’ words that were directed at all of the disciples, in verse 27, “Take courage.”

What was the result of Peter’s courage?
1)   Peter experienced an overcoming of fear that led to the impossible becoming possible
2)   He saw the reality of the kingdom of God manifest into the reality of our space and time
3)   What was once never done before, Peter was experiencing

The disciples in that boat were living in fear at that moment.  In fact, if this group of men were on the show “Fear Factor”, then Peter would have been the winner with the host declaring, “Fear is not a factor for you”. When we live in fear, it prevents us from experiencing Jesus and we can’t walk where Jesus has walked or go where Jesus has gone or do what Jesus has done.  We become frozen much like the disciples in the boat that night.


We can choose to either take fear or to take courage.  What are you going to take in the daily decisions in your life?  Are you going to step out of the boat, in faith, when Jesus calls out to you?  Will God declare over you, “Fear is not a factor for you?”

What area in your life have you stepped out of the boat, in faith, toward the call of God?


  1. Oh, my gosh - I could not watch that show! LOL! I was always freaked out by the challenges!

    You're right - Peter does deserve our applause in this story, even though he did look at the waves and start to doubt. At least he called out to Jesus and took the step of faith. The other disciples really missed out because they allowed their fear to get the better of them. I cringe to imagine how many times I've missed out on the miraculous because of fear...

  2. My husband loved that show, so I would watch it with him, halfway covering my eyes! -It grossed me out! I agree with you, I've missed out on the miraculous too at times.....I need to stop doing that and step out in faith!

    Still working on it.....

  3. Amen, amen, and amen! I love what you pointed out, "Why didn't the others" do what Peter did. I never thought about it that way! Ha, you're right. If I had witnessed that, I would have wanted to try too.

    Ok, now to the fear factor. I can still see that woman eating that huge LIVE spider! Something from the Congo -- about as big as a rat. GAG A MAGGOT. I get the willies just thinking about it.

    I do hate fear though. I spent a huge majority of my life bound by it, but HALLELUJAH, God set me free!

    Blessings to you! And thank you again for the nomination. <3