Summary: Jesus casts out fear
Don't be Afraid
John is unique. Unlike any other gospel. John is new, different. Different stories, different teachings, different characters. Events occur mostly in Judea not Galilee, no parables at all - but sermon like conversations. Written 60 years or more after the resurrection, the author is working hard to correct false teaching that had begun to spread, gnosticism in the earliest stages was questioning the physical being of Jesus, making Him out to be a spirit. John will have none of that. Jesus is fully human AND fully God.
You'll find no stories about Satan, demons or exorcisms, no Sermon on the Mount, and no predictions of end times or apocalyptic teachings. In fact, almost no story in John clearly aligns with any of the gospel stories in Matt. Mark or Luke, but here in the 6th chapter we find TWO. Last week we heard about the lone miracle recorded in every gospel. Feeding 5000 with a few loaves and fishes. One child called it the story where everybody just loafs and fishes, at least that's what the people wanted to do. This week we will examine the miracle of Jesus walking on water.
Whatever we do, we must not mix this story with the passages in the other gospels of Jesus coming to His disciples during a storm.
Forget Jesus sleeping on the boat, then awaking to calm the sea - as in Luke
Forget Peter asking Jesus to tell him to come - as in Matthew 14
Forget Jesus taking a midnight stroll, about to pass by, they thought Him a ghost - as in Mark 6
No. This story must be seen in relationship to Passover Feast, just like last week.
Just like last week, John sees a connection between this miracle, and the Passover. But what is it?
That's a big part of our job - and it was much more obvious to John's audience than to us today.
Recap a bit - Read JN 6: 14
After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world." 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself -
The story begins with Jesus going on a retreat - to the mountains, and the disciples doing a little retreating themselves, to the thing they knew best - their boats - they were after all, fishermen.
Why all this retreating? Jesus needed to maintain His focus, keep the main thing the main thing.
People's idea of what they want or need in a king - heal me, feed me now liberate me!
5000 men good start to any army.
Ironically, people were not mistaken about who He was, but only in why He was there
Jesus success so great that they wanted to crown Him
Ever been that successful - ( I have had people wanting to crown me)
Don't just retreat during the tough times, do it during the greatest successes
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The setting is the Sea of Galilee - more a lake really. The Hebrew name may originate from the
JN 6: 16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified. 20 But he said to them, "It is I; don't be afraid." 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.Hebrew word kinnor ("harp" or "lyre") - which the lake's shape resembles. It is 13 miles long, and 8 miles wide - only covering 64 square miles. At 600 feet below sea level, it is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake in the world after the Dead Sea. Lake not very wide at that point - perhaps 4-5 miles at most