Summary: This is the fifth sign found in the book of John, the walking on water.
Walking on Water
During my last four Bible studies I have covered the first four signs in the book of John.
I said that in the Gospel of John, he makes no secret of why he write his account of Jesus’ life.
... that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John wrote the Gospel so that people may know who Jesus is, that He is Christ, the Son of God, and so that people might have life by believing in Him. John therefore picks out events in Jesus’ life, and teachings that He gave, that display Him for who He is. These events are meant to show more than who Jesus is in Himself, but also, and just as importantly, who He is in relation to fallen man, to you and to me.
John himself admits, in the verse before the one that we have just read, and at the end of his book, that there are many other things that he could have included. But instead John includes those miracles and teachings he records as evidence of who Jesus is to the people. Included are seven miracles which John explains, are signs, to show that Jesus is the one the prophets spoke of in the old testament. Through these signs John displays how Jesus is the fulfilment of the old testament.
Just like the signature of a person is a sign upon a document that it has the approval of that person, these signs were the Fathers signature upon Jesus’ life, that He had His approval. They are the signature of God upon His new covenant.
In the first sign, the turning of the water into wine, Jesus revealed how He is able to take useless ritual, and turn it into an everlasting covenant. In the second sign, the healing of the officials son, Jesus demonstrates how He is the word of God. In the third sign, the healing of the man at the pool, we discovered that Jesus is the one who is able to forgive sins. In the forth sign, the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus reveals that He is the bread of life. We now come on to the fifth sign, the walking upon water.
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.
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.
22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realised that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone.