Jesus Walks On Water
31 July 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 6:16-21 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
16 That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17 But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. 18 Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. 19 They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20 but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” 21 Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination! (John 6:16–21 NLT)
After Jesus went into the mountains above the lake to pray and be alone, his disciples waited for him at the boat. It was getting dark and time to go, but it must have been conflicting for them to leave Jesus behind. After what was probably some heated discussion, they headed across the lake toward Capernaum. The surface of Lake Galilee is 650 feet below sea level and because the lake is surrounded by hills, the rapid cooling of the land around the lake and the relatively warm temperature of the water sometimes causes sudden, violent windstorms and very high waves during the night. Jesus’ disciples were familiar with this lake, but their weariness from a very intense day, the severity of the storm, and the sudden ghost-like appearance of Jesus walking toward them on the water was just too much! They were terrified!
In Matthew’s account of this event, Peter takes a huge step of faith and walks on the water toward Jesus! When the wind and the waves distracted him and he began to sink, Jesus took his hand and saved him. In Marks’s account of the event, as soon as Jesus got into the boat with them, the wind died down and the waved quieted. Here in John’s account, as soon as Jesus got into the boat, they were at their destination. Both Matthew and John were likely in the boat that night. It’s interesting how differently they remembered it.
It’s clear that even participating in a miracle as powerful as feeding the 5000 doesn’t guarantee that you won’t be scared when the next storm hits. It’s also clear that it’s good to let Jesus get in the boat with you!
Father, Thanks so much for showing us the humanity and frailty of Jesus’ followers and the amazing power Jesus has to rescue and to save. Help us to remember what Jesus has done in the past and to remember to invite Jesus into the boat with us right away! Amen.