Miracles of Jesus: Walking on Water

John 6:16-21

A man named Marty called his son. “Harry I have
news to tell you, I know it’s going to upset you but
I have made up my mind and there is nothing you
can do about it. I have decided to divorce your
mother.”

“But dad how can that be “the son asked “you have
been married for 40 years, and you always seemed
to get along? What happened suddenly?”

“Son, I have made up my mind, and I don’t want
you to try to convince me out of it.” “OK” the son
responded “but promise me you won’t do anything
until I come and talk to you in person, and I am
going to ask all of the siblings to fly in also.

”Alright” said the father hanging up “you have my
word.

“Well” said Marty, turning to his wife “I got
them all to come in and I didn’t even have to pay
for the tickets.”

Today we are going to be looking at the miracle when
Jesus walked on water. This miracle is found in Matthew,
Mark and John. Luke did not record this miracle.

Before we get to the text, which is found in John 6:16-21
allow me to provide some context from the other gospel
writers.

As we know from studying God’s word each gospel writer
describes some of the events of Jesus’ life, some are in
all, some are in only one, some appear in multiple but
not all.
I would like to start off by giving some of the details that
appear in both Matthew and Mark, but don’t appear in
John.

Described in Matthew and Mark, but not John

Jesus sent His disciples out and told them to cross
the lake, then He went up the mountain to pray.

It was the 4th watch when Jesus came to them on
the water, which would make it between 3-6AM

The disciples thought they were seeing a ghost when
they saw Jesus coming to them on the water.

Now, turn with me to the gospel of John:

John 6:16-21

I love God’s word!
The thing that I love most about it is that I can study a
passage of Scripture and He will teach me something new
about Himself.
Let me share something I noticed as I studied this
miracle.
This story doesn’t describe only one miracle!
As I considered the words of John I noticed two miracles.

The first one is the obvious one.

Jesus walks on water.

The Scripture tells us that they had rowed for 3 or 4
miles and the wind was causing the sea to be stirred.
Let’s take just a moment to talk about the sea of Galilee.
It is 600 ft. below sea level and near a mountain.
Due to this location the winds would often come down
the slope of the mountain and cause a commotion on the
water with strong waves resembling a storm.

The water is over 100 feet deep.
It’s the largest freshwater lake in Israel
It’s 64 square miles – about the size of Washington DC

Let’s make sure we don’t miss the miracle here
Jesus walks on the water upon which the disciples were
struggling to keep going.
He caught up with them and came to them walking on
the water. He wasn’t swimming, He wasn’t in a boat, He
wasn’t sinking.
He was walking on top of the water. In the midst of the
storm.

Let’s look at the second miracle

The boat immediately reached its destination.

I’ve read this story many times but never really noticed
that the boat reached the rest of the distance
immediately.
They were several miles from the shore, but Jesus got
them there immediately. Rescued from the storm, safe
and sound exactly where they were headed.

Remember, it was dark v.17 and when they saw Him
they were frightened v.19
But when Jesus spoke to them, they were willing to
receive Him into their boat.
Even though they didn’t recognize his figure walking to
them across the top of the water, when He spoke to
them, they recognized His voice and believed that it was
Him.

Some people argue that the gospels disagree with each
other because they don’t describe every event in the
exact same way.
I believe we can come to a much fuller understanding of
what was happening if we examine each writer’s
perspective together and synthesize the information so
we can learn what God is trying to teach us.

As I did that with this miracle narrative, I actually noticed
two additional miracles embedded in the walking on the
water miracle.

The first one is found in both Matthew and Mark.

Jesus calms the wind

Matthew 14:32 and Mark 6:51 describe Jesus calming the
wind which in turn calmed the waves.

We know the other story where Jesus is asleep while the
storm is raging. The disciples wake Him up and He tells
the storm to be still and it obeys Him.
And He does it again here but this time from walking on
the water!

The second one is only found in Matthew’s account.
Matthew 14:29
Peter walks on water
When Peter heard Jesus’ voice he asked Jesus to
command him to get out of the boat and to walk to Him
on the water. He takes the step out of the boat and
walks on the water. But takes his eyes off of Jesus and
becomes worried about the storm around him and begins
to sink. Jesus rescues him, but chides him for his lack of
faith, asking him why he doubted.

How amazing is it that God gives us 4 miracles in one as
we examine the whole counsel of His word?

Two things stood out to me as I pondered the reason
Jesus performed this miracle.
This miracle was exclusive to Jesus’ disciples.
We know that because when we read in v.24 and 25 that
the crowd was asking Jesus how He got there.

They didn’t see Him get into the boat with the disciples nor did
they see another boat on the shore. They had no idea He
was performing a miracle for His disciples.

This miracle displayed Jesus’ power over nature.
Actually, every miracle we looked at this morning
showed His power over nature. And it makes sense if you
think about it. Jesus is the second person of the trinity.
He is God in the flesh.
John 1 tells us that He was in the beginning with God and
that all things came into being through Him. Nothing that
was made was made apart from Him. He created nature
and has all power and control over it.

Jesus walks on water – defying the nature of water,
walking on it like it is solid.
Boat going to shore immediately – Jesus defied the
law of time and space that God created when He spoke
the world into existence.
Jesus calms the wind – He showed His power over the
wind by making it stop when He entered the boat.
Peter walks on water – Jesus not only allowed His
disciples to see Him exercise control over nature, He
allowed Peter to experience it too! What a great privilege
to be able to experience a miracle in the presence of
Christ!

APPLICATION

There are two things we need to remember as a result of
today’s message
Acknowledge that God is in control of everything!
He knows when to send rain
He knows where every hurricane is going to land
He knows when the virus is going to go away
He knows who will be elected the next president and He
knows every president who will ever be elected and He’s
still in charge no matter who sits in the oval office.
He knows every storm that you will encounter

He knows when He is sending Jesus back!

Seek Him through the storms of life!
The disciples recognized the sound of His voice, when
they heard His voice they were comforted and stopped
being afraid.

In John 10, Jesus says He is the good shepherd.
He says that His sheep know His voice and they follow
Him.

We have to recognize the voice of our shepherd and
follow Him.

Finally, sometimes we will find ourselves in the middle of
a storm and it seems like God doesn’t know what is going
on or care about us. That couldn’t be further from the
truth. God loves us and knows everything about us, the
number of each of our hairs, the number of each of our
days, our hopes, fears, doubts, everything!
When we are in the middle of the storm, we need to seek
Him. Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek Me and find Me
when you search for Me with all your heart.”

We should always be seeking the Lord.