Matthew 14: "Be Not Afraid"

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 22–23


Many times in the scriptures the Lord tells us not to fear, but rather to have faith in Him and His purposes (for example, see Isaiah 41:13; Mark 5:36; D&C 6:34–36). When we act in fear we often make mistakes, but when we act in faith we have the strength to accomplish much more than we could on our own. Look for how fear or faith is demonstrated in the stories in Matthew 14 and how fear or faith affected the people involved.

Understanding the Scriptures

Matthew 14

Compassion (v. 14)Feelings of love and caring 
Fragments that remained (v. 20)What the people did not eat 
Straightway (vv. 22, 27)Immediately 
Constrained (v. 22)Told, urged 
Contrary (v. 24)Against 
Boisterous (v. 30)Strong 
Besought (v. 36)Begged 

Matthew 14:3–4—“It Is Not Lawful for Thee to Have Her”

See “Understanding the Scriptures” for Mark 6:17–19 (p. 44).

Matthew 14:22–33—Peter Walks on the Water

Christ walking on water, Peter sinking

President Howard W. Hunter told the story found in Matthew 14:22–33 and then said:

“It is my firm belief that if as individual people, as families, communities, and nations, we could, like Peter, fix our eyes on Jesus, we too might walk triumphantly over the swelling waves of disbelief and remain unterrified amid the rising winds of doubt. But if we turn away our eyes from him in whom we must believe, as it is so easy to do and the world is so much tempted to do, if we look to the power and fury of those terrible and destructive elements around us rather than to him who can help and save us, then we shall inevitably sink in a sea of conflict and sorrow and despair.

“At such times when we feel the floods are threatening to drown us and the deep is going to swallow up the tossed vessel of our faith, I pray we may always hear amid the storm and the darkness that sweet utterance of the Savior of the world: ‘Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid’ (Matthew 14:27)” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1992, 24; or Ensign, Nov. 1992, 19).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Matthew 14.

Activity A iconWalking on Water

Answer the following questions about Matthew 14:22–33:

  1. 1.

    What was Jesus doing while the disciples were in the ship?

  2. 2.

    How did the disciples first react to Jesus walking on the water toward them?

  3. 3.

    What does Peter’s response say about him?

  4. 4.

    What does Matthew say about why Peter sank?

  5. 5.

    What did Peter do when he began to sink?

  6. 6.

    How can Peter’s experience be symbolic of your attempts to come unto Christ?