John 6:16-21

In the story of Jesus walking on the water, John’s purpose was to show that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God. This miracle proves Jesus has a divine nature and He has power over the laws of nature.

6:16-17 – When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, and they entered the boat and were going over the sea to Capernaum.Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side. (Then) he went up into the mountain by himself to pray. It was now dark, and Jesus had not come to them.

6:18-19 –The sea (of Galilee) was tossed by a great wind blowing. When therefore they rowed about 25 or 30 stadia (approximately three to four miles) they were in the middle of the sea (Read Mark 6:47). The disciples were not afraid of the storm, but they were afraid of Jesus walking on the sea. Mark 6:49 tells us they supposed it was a ghost. Mark 6:50 says, for they all saw him, and were troubled. But he immediately spoke with them, and said to them, “Cheer up!

6:20-21 – “It is I! (It literally means I Am.) Don’t be afraid.” When the disciples realized it was Jesus’ voice, they felt reassured. Their fear faded away, and they willingly received Jesus into the boat. In the Old Testament, the sea often represented anarchy and disorder. It was God who brought it under control (Read Psalms 65:5-7; 93:1-4). “Immediately” the boat was at the land where they were going. Theologians have a difference of opinion on what the word translated “immediately” means. Was it just a passing comment? Was it another miracle? The same story is told in Matthew 14:22-27 and Mark 6:47-51, but they don’t mention the word “immediately.” However, “The passage is useful as teaching that despite opposing forces, Jesus will enable His people to achieve the goals He has set for them, including heaven itself” (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: New Testament). 

Martin Luther said, “Is it not a shame that we are always afraid of Christ, whereas there was never in heaven or earth a more loving or milder man, in words and works. We serve a very gracious yet very human Christ. But the Scriptures make it plain that those who lived with him were conscious that there was also in him something awesome, tremendous, superhuman, something that awoke in them a kind of (fear).” Do we lack a kind of fear and reverence toward the One who sacrificed His life for us? He (Jesus) arose from the grave so that we can be forgiven of our sins and inherit eternal life!

         -All Scripture passages are based on the World English Bible (WEB)-

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