Here is Wednesday February 6th 2008 sermon.
JOHN PART 21
Christ on the water
So far in Chapter six, we saw the one miracle that is mentioned in all four Gospels, and that is Jesus feeding the five thousand. We saw how Jesus took a poor boys lunch that was given too Him and He multiplied it to the point that 12 basket were filled with all the left over pieces. This Passover picnic was to remind them of God’s gracious and consistent provision in this life, and it should serve as a reminder for us as well.
Now we are going to look at the setting of Jesus walking on the water.
You know I find it strange sometimes how people will just not accept the Gospel stories of the miracles and teachings of Jesus Christ. They will come up with some lame theories. I actually heard a theory of how Jesus walked on the water. This one scientist said he figured it out. He said that there was a thin layer of ice right at the water’s surface that you couldn’t see in a boat, only when you are on top of it. He said that this is what Jesus walked on, the thin layer of ice! It is amazing how a man 2000 years later can come to this conclusion. The problem is not Jesus walking on the water, the problem is people refusing to believe because of the hardness of their own heart. Another thing, if Jesus walked on a thin layer of ice, it was the distance three or four miles! In rough water!! I think not! It was the water itself that he was walking on.
Have you ever thought about these stories like this one, where Jesus walks on the water, and if they could have any impact on your life, or could you learn anything from them?
Well, let’s look into our text tonight, and see what God would say to us, and what we can apply to our lives.
1. The setting: The disciples set sail to cross the sea.
John 6:16 ISV – When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea…
A. This takes place on the same day as the miracle of feeding the five thousand.
It was later in the evening.
B. Earlier Jesus had went up to a hillside to be by Himself for two reasons:
The five thousand was trying to make Him King.
I also believe it was to spend time alone with His Father.
Throughout the Gospels we see often that Jesus withdraws from the crowds, and a few times even from His disciples to have some quite alone time. You see, Jesus didn’t come to awe the crowds with signs and His teachings, He came to redeem lost humanity. He was focused on this purpose, this plan of His Fathers. And He would often times go away to spend quite time with the Father. It was His time of intimacy with Him. What we can learn from this is we all need these quite times with just us and the Father. Where the noise from the crowd is silenced, when the lies of the enemy are not heard, a place where our friends and family members aren’t even invited. Where we have a audience of One, our Father through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I don’t feel it matters if it is a literal prayer closet, your car, the shower, your office, wherever it might be, just where you and the Father are alone. And I don’t think it matters the amount of time either, it is just the intimacy of the moment. You see, I have that time each morning at the kitchen table, while my family sleeps. I have my Bible, a devotional and a time of prayer and quite before I start my day.
C. Jesus did not go with the disciples out to sea.
2. Fear overcomes the disciples.
John 6:17-19 ISV – got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. Darkness had already fallen, and Jesus had not yet come to them. (18) A strong wind was blowing, and the sea was getting rough. (19) They had rowed about three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat. They became terrified.
A. They started crossing the sea in the dark.
I’m sure they probably didn’t have much light with them on the boat, perhaps the only light they had would have been the moon and the stars and they are about to go away because of the storm.
B. They also were crossing the sea without Jesus.
Was Jesus aware of their situation? I think He was; that is why He walked on the water for 3-4 miles to get out where they were. They may not realize it, but He is going to come to their rescue. Is there ever a time when you are facing dark times and you are wondering where is the Lord in this situation? Well let me tell you, you are not alone. He promises to be there with us, whether we realize it or not. So if you are going through dark times, let this be an encouragement to you tonight.
C. The next thing we see is that the disciples are caught up in a storm.
The Sea of Galilee is known for sudden, violent storms that appear seemingly out of nowhere. So I’m sure when this storm appeared, in the darkness fear began gripping their hearts. This still happens to us today. We may be going through a dark valley, and the storms of life is raging all around us, if we focus on the darkness and the storms that rages, fear will begin gripping our hearts.
D. The disciples see Jesus coming to them in the midst of the storm.
This should have been a comfort too them, but sadly it is not. In fact, Matthew 14:26 says that the disciples thought that it was a ghost, some type of apparition coming toward them. I have experienced this type of fear once in my life. In High School in West Texas, they had an anomaly in the sky that is very similar to the northern lights. I remember it well. It was orange, and literally lit up the night sky. I wasn’t serving the Lord at the time, we were out partying after church, so I’m sure that had something to do with it as well, but we starting thinking that it was Jesus coming again. We drove to the house that my Parents were eating at, and told them to come outside, as they were looking at it, I saw a man dressed a white robe crossing someone’s lawn and I screamed, “Jesus is here! Jesus is here! He’s walking over there.” When people looked where I was pointing they looked at me strangely and said, “that is just someone’s grass sprinker,” you know the kind that goes back and forth. Fear had so gripped my heart and I was literally seeing things.
So I’m sure that fear was gripping the hearts of the disciples as well, and they probably wasn’t sure about Jesus here at this point.
3. Jesus: The answer to the storms and the fear.
John 6:20-21 ISV – But he said to them, “It is I. Stop being afraid!” (21) So they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.
A. Verse 20 is rather interesting.
In the Free Written Commentary it states that Jesus is using the covenant name of God YHWH, literally saying, “I am!
The Believer’s Bible Commentary states, “If He were only a man, they might be afraid. But He is the mighty Creator and the Sustainer of the universe. With such a One close at hand, there was no reason to fear. When He said, “It is I,” He was literally saying, “I am.” This is the second time Jesus used the covenant name of God YHWH as applying to Himself, in the book of John.
Let me read this verse out of three translations that translate it this way.
John 6:20 Complete Apostles’ Bible – But He said to them, “It is I AM; do not fear.”
John 6:20 ALT – But He says to them, “_I_ am! Stop being afraid!”
John 6:20 LITV – But He said to them, I AM! Do not fear.
What was Jesus saying here? More that that He is there. I believe He is saying, “I am God Almighty, the master of the universe, don’t be afraid!
B. Notice when He revealed Himself to them, their demeanor changed.
C. No longer were they afraid, but they were glad He was their and they invited Him into the boat and they reached the other side safely.
How can we apply this to our lives tonight?
• It is important to have those one on one quite times with the Lord.
• Don’t focus on the darkness, the winds and the waves and the storms of life that come your way.
• Put your complete focus on the master of the storms – Jesus Christ.
• He will take you to the destination that He has for you.
We will continue in John six to two weeks.