Describe a time when you took a big risk but got in over your head. 

  1. Was so terrified, I will never do that again.
  2. Got rescued, so I dived back in again.
  3. Got excited, as I am a big risk-taker.
  4. Got discouraged, as I lost my …
  5. Other __________.



“Ability to walk on water” is a resumé boast, then and now, by someone with superpowers. Jesus did so, this once, to help his disciples’ see his divine identity and role as the Messiah. In responding to their fear, Jesus answers, “It is I” (literally, “I am”), which is Old Testament language for how God identified himself to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-14).


Scripture Reading

Have one person read Matthew 14: 22-33, but with fear and uncertainty when speaking as Peter. Other group members pretend to be rocking the boat, terrified.


Finding My Story in God’s Story

If you could be anyone in this drama, whose role would you like to play? Why?


Imagine that this story is your first encounter with the life of Jesus. How do you feel about what you see?

  1. His ability to “ghost” and then show up—that’s weird. 
  2. Walking on water, really?—you sure he wasn’t using steppingstones!?
  3. His self-assurance and comforting words—sounds good to me.
  4. Wow!—can’t believe he reached out to save a faltering Peter.
  5. Other __________.


As Jesus walks on water and draws near to the disciples’ boat, he addresses their fear. Had you been in the boat, what part of this experience would provide the most comfort?

  1. Seeing in Jesus a familiar face at a scary time of night (just after 3:00 am).
  2. Hearing familiar words of comfort and blessed assurance.
  3. Seeing Peter falter yet Jesus still reached out to care for him.
  4. Most comforting was getting Jesus back in the boat, being with him.
  5. Other __________.


What do you admire most about Peter in this story?

  1. He took a risk to get out of the boat.
  2. He walks on water until he took his eyes off Jesus! 
  3. He is never too proud to cry for help. 
  4. Other __________.


For the disciples, the boat represented their livelihood, their safety or comfort zone, their close fellowship group. What does that “boat” represent in your life?


Peter says, “Lord, if it is you…” before he steps out of the boat to walk on water to Jesus. What would it take for you to step out?

  1. Learning to trust—and verify—is key for me.
  2. I’d trust a little, wade in before jumping in.
  3. I do deep background checks of potential partners.
  4. I fully trust right up until they actually betray me.
  5. Other: __________.


Peter boldly cries out, “Lord, save me!” as he goes under. When have you needed a similar lifeline?

  1. When going under the knife for …
  2. When stepping out of my boat of …
  3. When undergoing tests (one-time or ongoing) of …
  4. When called by Jesus to …
  5. Other __________.


Our Story

Now, switch roles in the story and consider who you in your life you could invite to risk a step of faith. How can you support them, so that next step or lifeline is a positive experience?


Ask the men to pray for you and support you in next steps under Q#8, #9, or #10, where you are feeling overwhelmed and sinking under the waves of fear and doubt.


Pair up in the group as you commit to taking that “next step” of faith or grabbing that lifeline (attached to Jesus).


Listen to someone else share and pray for them, as they step out of the boat.