When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. John 6:16-21
Can you imagine being out on a boat far from shore, it is dark and you look out and see someone walking on the water coming toward you? I know I would be just a bit scared. I am not sure how my brain would process such an event. Maybe I would be like some skeptics and say it is only an illusion. Surely they are just walking on the shoreline and it just looks like they are walking on the water.
I might just refuse to process what my eyes were telling me. I must be hallucinating or maybe I am ill. No the fear the disciples felt when they saw Jesus walking toward the boat was a very natural reaction. It must be some kind of ghost or spirit. The last thing they probably would think of is that it was a real man. Certainly not someone they knew. People just don’t do that sort of thing.
Of course ordinary people don’t walk on water. Jesus is far from ordinary and this story shows that. Mark, Matthew and John all include their version of this event and each occurs just after the feeding of the five thousand. I am not sure why Luke chose not to include the event but since his Gospel was written after Mark and Matthew he may have felt no need to cover an event the other two had already covered. So why would John have included it in his account?
Actually I would have been surprised if it were John and not Luke who decided not to write about Jesus walking on water. John’s Gospel was written to show the divine nature of Jesus. And for my money, walking on water sure qualifies for a divine miracle. I don’t know of anyone else doing that, either in the Bible account or outside the Bible. Yes I know peter did get out of the boat and come to Jesus when He called, but Peter did that when Jesus was there and as far as I can fine the was the limit of Peter’s aquatic walking.
No John included the story to show Jesus’ divine nature. Since he was focused on Jesus he evidently saw no reason to include Peters walk. Only Matthew saw fit to include Peter in the story. John kept his focus on Jesus.
Something that is unique to John is that when Jesus got into the boat they were immediately taken to the shore. In the Bible we see other instances of Jesus moving through crowds or suddenly appearing. These are things that are impossible for us ordinary humans. Jesus was far from ordinary. Yes He was totally and completely human but he was still totally and completely God.
What is impossible for man is easy for God. John shows us a Jesus doing impossible things. These are things only God can do. We too can do impossible things if we call on God to work through us. We should each do what Vicki Lassiter, my Bible Study teacher’s daughter, said in a recent webcast aimed at potential missionaries, “Pray that God will so something through you that only He can do”. Let God do impossible things with us as His instruments.
Have a blessed day,