The Meaning of Matthew 14:28 Explained

Matthew 14:28

KJV: And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

YLT: And Peter answering him said, 'Sir, if it is thou, bid me come to thee upon the waters;'

Darby: And Peter answering him said, Lord, if it be thou, command me to come to thee upon the waters.

ASV: And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto the upon the waters.

What does Matthew 14:28 Mean?

Verse Meaning

This is the first of three occasions in which Matthew recorded that Peter received special treatment (cf. Matthew 16:13-23; Matthew 17:24-27).
"The Evangelist here presents Peter in all of his impetuosity mixed with his great devotion. In keeping with Matthew"s style of writing, these traits, which are first mentioned here, characterize Peter throughout the remainder of the Gospel. More significant is the fact that the place of preeminence among the apostles which Peter here assumes is never lost in the rest of Matthew"s Gospel." [1]
It seems almost incredible that Peter would have believed he could walk on water. However the disciples had already done many mighty miracles because Jesus had given them the power to do so (cf. Matthew 10:1). We could translate the first class condition rendered "if it is you" as "since it is you." Peter evidently wanted to be as close to Jesus as he could be as often as possible (cf. John 21:7).

Context Summary

Matthew 14:22-36 - Help In The Hour Of Need
Jesus always comes in the storm. It had been a great relief to escape from the pressure of the crowd to His place of prayer, on heights swept by the evening breeze and lighted by the holy stars. But He tore Himself away because His friends needed Him. He is watching you also in the storm and will certainly come to your help.
He uses the element we dread as the path for His approach. The waves were endangering the boat, but Jesus walked on them. In our lives are people and circumstances we dread, but it is through these that the greatest blessing of our lives will come, if we look through them to Christ.
His coming is sometimes delayed. The gray dawn was already beginning to spread over the scene. The disciples' strength was spent. He was not too late to be of service, but just in time to save them from despair. Be of good cheer, and if Jesus bids you come to Him on the water, always believe that His commands are enabling. Keep looking to Him, not at the storm. [source]

Chapter Summary: Matthew 14

1  Herod's opinion of Jesus
3  Wherefore John Baptist was beheaded
13  Jesus departs into a solitary place,
15  where he feeds five thousand men with five loves and two fishes
22  He walks on the sea to his disciples;
34  and landing at Gennesaret,
35  heals the sick who touch of the hem of his garment

Greek Commentary for Matthew 14:28

Upon the waters [επι τα υδατα]
The impulsiveness of Peter appears as usual. Matthew alone gives this Peter episode. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Matthew 14:28

Mark 6:50 Spake with them [ἐλάλησεν μετ ' αὐτῶν]
Both Matthew and John give the simple dative, αὐτοῖς , to them. Mark's with them is more familiar, and gives the idea of a more friendly and encouraging address. It is significant, in view of Peter's relation to this gospel, that Mark omits the incident of Peter's walk on the waves (Matthew 14:28-31). [source]
John 6:20 Be not afraid [μη ποβειστε]
Prohibition with μη — mē and present middle imperative of ποβεομαι — phobeomai So in Mark 6:50 (Matthew 14:27). John does not tell that the disciples thought Jesus was an apparition (Mark 6:49; Matthew 14:26), nor does he give the account of Peter walking on the water (Matthew 14:28-31). [source]

What do the individual words in Matthew 14:28 mean?

Answering now to Him - Peter said Lord if You [it] is command me to come to You upon the waters
Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ αὐτῷ Πέτρος εἶπεν Κύριε εἰ σὺ εἶ κέλευσόν με ἐλθεῖν πρὸς σὲ ἐπὶ τὰ ὕδατα

Ἀποκριθεὶς  Answering 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Passive, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἀποκρίνομαι  
Sense: to give an answer to a question proposed, to answer.
δὲ  now 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: δέ  
Sense: but, moreover, and, etc.
αὐτῷ  to  Him 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
  - 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Πέτρος  Peter 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: Πέτρος  
Sense: one of the twelve disciples of Jesus.
εἶπεν  said 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λέγω  
Sense: to speak, say.
Κύριε  Lord 
Parse: Noun, Vocative Masculine Singular
Root: κύριος  
Sense: he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord.
εἶ  [it]  is 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 2nd Person Singular
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
κέλευσόν  command 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 2nd Person Singular
Root: κελεύω  
Sense: to command, to order.
με  me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Accusative 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.
ἐλθεῖν  to  come 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Active
Root: ἔρχομαι  
Sense: to come.
ἐπὶ  upon 
Parse: Preposition
Root: ἐπί  
Sense: upon, on, at, by, before.
ὕδατα  waters 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: ὕδωρ  
Sense: water.