About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Jesus Walks On The Water (ch. 6:16-24)

 

In verse 16 John tells us that when evening came the disciples got into a boat and crossed the lake, which is Lake Galilee.  They headed towards Capernaum.  This city was on the northern shore of the lake and was a fishing port.  This is the town where Peter lived.     

 

I find it interesting that in Old Testament
Israel, the area in which Capernaum is located in Jesus' day was the area in which Israel began to worship other gods.  I don't know if there is any significance, but, Jesus' ministry headquarters was in the region where Israel first began to worship other gods.  In my thinking, that seems like something Jesus would do.  He went to the source of Israeli sin. 

 

John tells us that Jesus did not go down to the lake with the disciples.  Why this was the case is not recorded.  My guess is that Jesus simply needed some time alone.   

 

Verse 18 tells us that once the disciples were well into the lake, about three to three and a half miles, the winds picked up and the lake became turbulent.  This would have most likely caused concern and fear to come upon the disciples even though they were used to the lake and storms.  It's well known that storms can blow up very quickly on the Sea of Galilee.   At that point John tells us that they saw Jesus walking on the water, as stated in verse 19.  These men were already afraid but seeing Jesus walking on this turbulent lake made them more fearful than ever.  I suggest that we might well have the same fear.      

 

Verse 20 tells us that Jesus told them not to be afraid.  At that point verse 21 states that the disciples were willing to let Jesus into the boat, as if possibly they werenít so willing up until He spoke those words. 

 

If the miracle of walking on the water was not enough, another miracle took place.  As soon as Jesus got into the boat the boat appeared at Capernaum.  We see this miracle few times in Scripture, when someone just appears in a place without actually going there.  We often call this being "transported in the Spirit."  We see this happening in Acts 8 with Philip.  These were two major miracles that would have made a great impression on these men.

 

It is a scientific fact that if something goes fast enough, it will just appear where it was going, and even pass through material objects on the way.  Jesus simply appeared in the upper room after He rose from the dead.  It could be quite possible that He traveled so fast that His body simply passed through the door.  This might well be how angels travel as well.    

 

This section ends with the crowd of people who were filled with the loaves and fish were somewhat confused the next day.  They knew that Jesus and His disciples only had one boat and that the disciples had left without Jesus, but now they could not find Him.  Where He was they did not know.  They then assumed that somehow He headed towards Capernaum with His disciples.  There happened to be some boats from Tiberias at the shore line so many in the crowd decided to take these boats to Capernaum , hoping to find Jesus there.

 

We can see the crowds now really following Jesus wherever He went.  They went to great lengths to find Him and search for Him, yet not all the people in the crowd were dedicated followers.   Many were thrill seekers, wanting only to see the miracles He was performing.  Some were there in the crowd as agitators, hoping to trick Jesus into saying and doing something in violation of the Law of Moses or rabbinical law.  We know that Jesus didnít fully trust the crowd because He knew what was in manís heart.  He certainly preached to them and extended the gospel to them, but He did not give Himself to them as He did His close disciples.  When I say close disciples I mean more than the twelve apostles.   We do need to make the distinction between the twelve apostles and the rest of the disciples.  The disciples were a greater number which included many women.       

 

Somewhere around this time in Jesus' earthly ministry He relocated his home to Capernaum.  

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