Summary: This is part of a series on the Gospel of John.
INTRODUCTION: After feeding the 5,000 Jesus withdrew by Himself because He perceived the crowd would force Him to be king. He did not give any specific instructions to His disciples. However, they went to down to the sea and began a nighttime voyage across the sea to Capernaum.
The disciples of Jesus had labored all night long to row only about half way across the Sea of Galilee (about 2.5 miles). In the midst of their navigational struggle a storm arose and Jesus came walking on the water!
When they realized it was Jesus, they let Him into the boat and immediately reached their destination. Without Him they were struggling just to make a little headway, but with Him in their midst the struggle was over. When we have Jesus our journey is no longer a struggle but a joy! Let us glean from this fifth sign…
I. The Setting (15-18).
After an all-day speaking event and performing the miracle of feeding 5,000 men plus women and children with five barley loaves and two fish Jesus was probably tired. The disciples were probably tired too! They had been at the speaking engagement all-day and served that mega crowd. The crowd wanted to seize Jesus and make Him their king. He was and is King but not as they were looking. He removed Himself from the crowd. That was pretty amazing itself. He was able to take some time for solitude with the Father and rest.
The disciples were instructed to go to the other side of the lake (Sea of Galilee). They were to go a distance of about five miles. They were all in one boat. It might have been the very boat that is on display in Israel today that is from the 1st century AD. About halfway across the lake a storm arose and it was dark. They were alone and afraid.
II. The Savior (19-20).
Jesus does not want His followers to be alone, in the dark, or afraid. When we cannot go to Him, He will come to us. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. When we are in trouble He will walk on top of that which we are afraid. He is above all. He is our Savior and when we need Him we can count on Him. He came to the disciples walking on the water. They were afraid but when He spoke the fear had to go! “It is I, do not be afraid.” Their fears were gone and they received Him into the boat.
III. The Security (21-21).
When we have Jesus on board there is nothing to fear. “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world!” Jesus was not limited by the gravitational pull, darkness, space, or time. Immediately they were at their destination. When we have Jesus in our vessel we can be assured that we will reach our destination.
CONCLUSION: The goal of the disciples was to reach their destination. They were primarily hindered by the storm which arose quickly. When they saw Jesus walking on the water coming near the boat they were afraid. It was when they received Jesus their fear was calmed and immediately they reached their goal.
We do not have control over the wind. When we are in a storm and the wind is blowing there is One who we can call upon. He is limitless and all-powerful. He walks on the water and He draws near to those who will receive Him!