Jesus Walks on Water

WEEK 52: Jesus Walks on Water


John 6:16-21 16 And when even was now come, His disciples went down unto the sea, 17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 20 But He saith unto them, it is I; be not afraid. 21 Then they willingly received Him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

This was the 5th Sign Jesus did in the Gospel of John. In Matthew 14:22, Mark 6:45 we are told that Jesus had told the disciples to cross the sea. It was now dark and Jesus had not come to them. This is a trial of faith. We are doing His will and problems hit and it seems dark yet we can’t feel His Presence. Jesus wasn’t with His disciples, but He was praying for them, and now He now intercedes for us at the right hand of God.

Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing against them and they were struggling and in some danger (Mark 6:48, Matt 14:24). When we start doing something for God, spiritual winds from Satan may oppose us. Suddenly, a storm came down upon the disciples in the boat and the waves pushed them back. The sea represents natural, visible problems and circumstances, stirred up by the invisible winds (spiritual forces). But, if God calls us to do something, He will help us accomplish it. If we call upon Him, we will overcome by His power and we will make it to the other side. Surely they were praying for help and God heard them.  They had been rowing for a long time 25-30 furlongs – probably 3-4 miles – getting nowhere by their own strength.

Mark 6:48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night He cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

The “fourth watch of the night” is 3.00am. Jesus knew they had been toiling. He came to help them, walking on the sea.  Jesus sees us and what we are going through. He knows what we are facing and He comes to us in the trials of life when we pray. They saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat – Mark 6:48 says “and would have passed by them”???  But that doesn’t make sense. He knows we are in distress – why on earth does it appear that He will pass by us? The thing is when we pray God immediately sends the answer, but we must receive the answer into our boat or it will pass us by. We must have the confidence in God, to believe we receive the answer in our spirit. Often God sends the answer, but people do not see it or are afraid of it. Jesus would have passed them by, for He respects our freewill. He will only come into our boat (our life) if invited. If we prefer to struggle on our own, He will let us do that.

“and they were afraid”.  Fear and unbelief can hinder us from receiving our answer by faith. The disciples were full of fear, believing He was a ghost, and they cried out in fear (Mark 6:49-50; Matthew 14:26).

Verse 20 But He saith unto them, it is I; be not afraid. He also told them to “take courage” (Matthew 14:27, Mark 6:50), for it takes confidence to believe God sends a supernatural answer to prayer and to believe you receive it. We do not fear when we know He is with us and He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Verse 21 Then they willingly received Him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

This is a miracle (the 6th Sign),
giving us a wonderful picture of Salvation. 

We were struggling in our own strength, on the sea of life, trying to reach the other side (eternal life in God’s Kingdom) but failing. All seemed dark and hopeless, but as we start looking for God’s help, we see Jesus coming to us, drawing near. He has seen us and our troubles and wants to save us. Jesus, walking over the water is a picture of the risen Christ, who has overcome the gravity (force) of sin, Satan and death. Sin tries to pull us down, but Jesus has overcome it. We need to receive Christ and His overcoming, resurrection power into our boat (our heart and life). He often draws near to save people, but they do not see Him or are afraid to receive Him. There was a storm of fear in the disciple’s hearts, but Jesus is the Prince of Peace – He spoke peace into their lives “it is I; be not afraid”.

As we listen to His words of love and assurance our fear goes and we willingly receive Him into our heart. When we invite Him in, He always comes in (Revelation3:20). When we receive Him, peace comes – the winds then died down (Matthew 14:32, Mark 6:51), for we cease from our own works – our struggles to reach the other side.

When we have Christ we have eternal life – immediately the boat reached the other side. A miracle of instantaneous transportation! When we receive Him, we are immediately translated into the Kingdom of God and given eternal life (Colossians 1:12-14). Then we worship Him as the Son of God (Matthew 14:33). 

We overcome through Christ in us. When we struggle to fulfil God’s call and do His will, the power of the world is real, but Jesus has greater power (John 16:33). We can now overcome because the Overcomer lives in us (1John 2:14; 4:4; 5:4, 5). If we have received Jesus, we are overcomers, for by faith we are united to His overcoming life and have victory over all the power of the enemy.

Jesus walking on the water is a picture of His overcoming life. As He walked, it was God’s power that was holding Him up, not the water. It is impossible to walk on water and He did not really walk on the water, but on the Word and the Spirit of God. Jesus was not under circumstances, He was an Overcomer – He walked by faith OVER the water. As He took each step by faith, He was upheld by a power greater than gravity. 

Matthew 14:28-31 tells us how Peter also walked on the water. He shows us that we can from God but Peter knew he needed the Word to walk by faith. 

We are all called to walk on the Word of God, and as we take each step by faith, God’s power is released. We can put pressure on the Word of God and when we lean on it as we walk in faith, it will hold us up. There is a law (force) of sin and death trying to pull us down, but as we walk by faith there is a greater force (God’s power) holding us up, a higher law in us the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus which sets us free from that law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). 

There are evil forces in the world but God’s power is greater and we overcome by just keeping our eyes on Jesus. If we sink it is not because of the power of the opposing wind, but because of unbelief.

If we start to sink, like Peter, we should turn our eyes back to Jesus and call to Him for help He will lift us up to walk again. We need not only to know the Word, but to have it established strongly in us through constant meditation (Psalm 1), so that when the winds blow and the waves beat against our lives we are not moved from the Word in our heart and our eyes stay fixed on Jesus.

With weak faith, we walk a bit, but when problems hit we start to sink. With strong faith we have decided to believe the Word whatever the circumstances. The Word is rooted in us and so when the wind blows we are not moved. When God gives us a Word, we need to establish it in our hearts, and then walk on it, acting as if it were true. As we do, God’s power will uphold us. We will walk on God’s power, overcoming the gravity of sin, the winds of Satan and the waves of opposition, as we look to Jesus, saying:

“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us”  (Romans 8:37).



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