Summary: A study of the Gospel of John 6: 15 – 21
John 6: 15 – 21
I Can Get There Quicker By Walking
“15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone. 16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. 19 So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. 20 But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.
If you have been studying the bible with us then you know that I include any other Gospel presentation of the same situation that we are reviewing. It seems that Matthew, Mark, and Luke cover the same events. Today, however, we see that Luke doesn’t mention our Lord walking on the sea, but John does. You have to remember that Matthew, Peter, and John were in the boat when they saw the Lord walking on the water. Obviously, it greatly impacted the memories for life. So, let us take a look at the other two descriptions of this amazing miracle by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Mark 6: 45 – 52 45 Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. 46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. 49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. 52 For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.
Matthew 14:22-33, “22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
It is quite clear from the fact that this event follows immediately on the other that Jesus was now trying to bring home to His disciple His own uniqueness. He wanted it to come home to them as to Who He really was. First the creation of bread and fish. Now the revelation that He controls nature and can, like God, walk on the seas
The importance of the incident is found in the Old Testament where it is clear that the One Who can walk on water is the omnipotent God - ‘your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters’ (Psalm 77.19). This was thus a direct claim to deity. To Israel the sea had always appeared as an enemy and a symbol of tumult. In their eyes there was only One Who could control it and that was their God. It also, of course, taught the disciples a great lesson about the powers of Jesus. In the future when they faced great difficulties they could look back on this incident and be aware that whatever their circumstances ,He was with them and could meet all their needs.