Summary: This message deals with the account of Jesus and Peter as they walked on the water


(Message 15 Gospel of John 2021)

John 6:16-21 (also Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:47-53)

Greenmount and O’Leary Churches of Christ

May 2, 2021

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1) Last week we looked at the feeding of the 5,000, and the events of that the next day.

A) Today we are going to look at an event that happened at night in between those events.

B) After the feeding of the 5,000 Jesus continued to teach and preach until into the evening hours.

2) As day nears its end and the sun is ready to set Jesus sends the disciples off in a boat, dismisses the crowd, and then goes off by himself for a time of prayer.

A.) This morning I want us to look at the original “Wave Walkers”.


1.) By now it was dark. (6:17)

A.) Certainly, in the darkness of night the storms seem even worse than at daytime.

aa.) Something about the darkness, the unknown, and the unseen, makes storms at night seem even more fearful and intense.

B.) These men were out in their small boat in the middle of a storm at night.

ba.) It was not like today with radars, Plotters, and other navigational equipment, radios, and lights.

bb.) These men would have been in total darkness other than the natural lights of the heavens and on the shoreline.

bba.) Amid a bad storm, it was quite likely they could not even see those lights.

2.) The Waters grew rough. (6:18)

A.) The storm had blasted them all night long.

B.) Eventually it came to the place of rough seas, and the waves breaking over the boat.

3.) The disciples were straining at the oars.

A) Mark 6:47 – “The wind was against them”.

B) Sometimes the wind can be greater than your ability to row.

ba.) This was just such a night.

bb.) Each pull of the oars would move them ahead, but the one or two seconds it took to reposition the oars for another pull was just enough time for the wind to lose half of what the last pull of the oars had gained.

bc.) John 6:19

bca.) The fact they had gone only 3-4 miles says a great deal on the intensity of the wind and of the sea.

bc.) The distance they had rowed would have been about halfway across the lake.

bca.) Good oarsmen can row around 3.5 – 4.5 miles in an hour.

bcb.) These men were fishermen; they were muscular; they were used to rowing their boats.

.01) If you were looking for some good men to pull at the oars this would have been some of the best men you could have found for the task.

.011) And yet these men left the other shore as the sun was going down.

.012) It was almost sunrise, but they had only travelled what would normally be covered in an hour or hour and a half.

4.) Jesus saw the disciples straining at the oars. (Mark 6:48)

A) When the Scriptures state that Jesus saw the disciples straining at the oars It was with the all-seeing eye of God that he saw them.

aa.) As we read our text it almost sounds as casual as though Jesus looked over his shoulder and could see the disciples in the boat a hundred feet away.

ab.) We must remember this was in the darkness of a stormy night and Jesus was on shore 3-5 miles from the disciples and the boat.

aba.) While Jesus saw these men, he saw them not merely from a human view, but with the all- seeing eyes of the eternal God, who sees and knows all things.


1) To be honest, the night had already been scary.

A.) The men were now exhausted.

aa.) The previous day they had been working as servants or waiters distributing food to the massive multitude.

ab.) At the end of the day they got in boats to head home but ended up in a storm with winds almost defeating their efforts to row home.

aba.) You can be sure that by this time these men were totally exhausted.

B.) The men may perhaps have been a bit shaken from the weather.

ba.) All and all they had about all the excitement they could handle for one day and wanted to get home and have a few hours of sleep.

bb.) It was at that moment they experienced something more than they could have imagined.

bba.) Never in their wildest dreams would they have imagined someone walking on the water.

2) They thought they had seen a ghost.

A.) Matthew 14:25-27

aa.) Out text tells us that Jesus was about to pass by them but when they saw him, he came by to strengthen them and to give them comfort.

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