We’ve all heard of the miracles of Christ and especially His walking on water. It has even become a common phrase, as many scriptural truths do become catchy phrases for the world, much to my dismay. Sunday, in sermon, pastor was in this very passage John 6:1-21 and it was such a picture that we often don’t take the time to remember or to reflect upon. Thank you Lord, I did that day; I was there in my mind, blessed by the picture of the God man, Jesus fulfilling His work that the Lord God had sent Him to do and blessed by the picture of the disciples as mere men, just as we are!
The miracle of walking on water is preceded in scripture by the feeding of the five thousand, the account of five barley loaves and two small fishes feeding the multitude by the work of Christ. They had followed Him to the mountain because of His great signs of healing and Jesus saw them coming and asked Philip where they would buy bread so that this many could be fed, but He asked to test him for He knew what He would do. Philip was concerned about how much denarii it would take to feed that many, just like our own concerns so often at how Jesus will provide. There was a lad there with five loaves of bread and two small fishes and Jesus had the people to sit down on the grass and He gave thanks and gave the disciple the abundance of bread and fish so that everyone would have their fill of this earthly bread, with 12 baskets leftover.
Can you picture the grassy knoll with the hungry multitude being filled with as much as they wanted? Oh the abundance of His provision of even this, the temporary filling with earthly bread. The people saw this miracle and they wanted Him for their earthly King, not yet recognizing Him for who He truly is, the Bread of Life, so they sought to take Him but He slipped away into the mountain, alone.
The disciples were witnesses to the earthly life of Jesus and were privileged to see so much. Here they saw the Lord provide an abundance of food for the multitudes; they ate of the same bread and the same fish. Jesus had not returned to the disciples so in the evening they went down to the sea and got into their boat and over the Sea of Galilee toward Capernaum. Now picture with me the same that I was led to picture as I listened to the Word preached; the sea being below sea level, surrounded by mountains and the air rushing down from those mountains causing a great wind to blow and it is dark. They were rowing across this Sea of Galilee to find Jesus and I wonder if they were physically weary and tired and still in awe at what they had witnessed that day. Suddenly they saw something like a man walking on the sea and they were troubled and cried out in great fear, fear of danger and in need of help. (as recorded in Matthew 14:26). They weren’t expecting to see Jesus walking on the water towards them in the middle of the sea, and suddenly there He is in the midst of them, in the very midst of their fear and they willingly received Him, He calmed their fears as He said “It is I, be not afraid”.
He still does that, you see, He does for us the same as He did for the disciples that night on the sea. He comes in His Word and in our hearts when we are troubled, in our own fears and our own storms and He tells us the same, “It is I, be not afraid.”