I met with a group of people last night, discussing what Roman Catholics believed and why. There was some segues, that included the aspect of Jesus walking on the water, and Peter coming out to meet him. Peter's doing fine, until he realizes how strong the waves are, and then starts to sink. He calls for Jesus to save him. Jesus does, while telling Peter that he was of little faith, and asking why he doubted (Matthew 14:22-33)
The discussion then went into the area where "keep your eyes on Jesus" has sparked song after song after song, about how things are fine so long as you keep your eyes on Jesus. As soon as your gaze goes elsewhere, you start to sink.
The discussion swirled in my head for a while, and now I'm wondering ... if Peter had a physical Jesus in front of him, physically violating the laws of nature, physically calling out to Peter to join him ... and Peter still took his eyes off Jesus, what hope do Christians have 2,000 years later when they just have the spiritual aspect? When keeping one's eyes on Jesus is essentially a mental effort, because there is no physical Jesus to look at and to hear? When keeping one's eyes on Jesus is dependent upon what reads in a book, as opposed to Peter, who had daily encounters with Jesus and the works Jesus performed?
That, and Jesus wasn't kind to Peter at this loss of confidence. The more I read the Gospel, the more Jesus comes across as unsympathetic to human frailties.