“And truly Jesus did many other signs
in the presence of His disciples, which
are not written in this book; but these
are written that you may believe that
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and
that believing you may have life
in His name.”- John (Jn 20:30-31)
John tells us that there are many miracles performed by Jesus which were not recorded in the gospel. But He had specially chosen 7 for us to read. He did that so that we can believe that Jesus is indeed the Christ and we can have life through his name.
So far we have taken a look at his first miracle
1. Jesus turning water into wine (Part 1, Part 2)
2. Jesus Healing The Nobleman’s son (Part 3, Part 4)
3. Jesus Healing By The Pool Of Bethesda (Part 5, Part 6)
4. Jesus feeding 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 Fishes (Part 7 , Part 8)
Lets now take a look at the fifth miracle
Jesus Walking On Water
“So when they had rowed about three or four miles,
they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing
near the boat; and they were afraid.” – John (Jn 6:19)
The disciples saw Jesus walking to them, and they were afraid. Matthew gave the reason behind their fear.
“And when the disciples saw Him
walking on the sea, they were
troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!”
And they cried out for fear.”- Matthew (Matt 14:26)
These disciples mistook Jesus as a ghost as no man could walk on water. Man may have the ability to swim, but not the ability to walk to water. This is is why they were afraid. But Jesus called out to hem saying “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
Jesus wanted to clear their doubt immediately for he did not want his disciples to continue being afraid and doubtful. For there are some doubts which are not good, and need to be cleared immediately. I am sure at the end of the day, the disciples must be ashamed, for they have mistaken their teacher as a ghost.
Sometimes Christians make the same mistake when we encounter something extraordinary and we jump into conclusion without examining it and listening to it carefully. We tend to go for what the majority believes and allow our judgement became clouded. As the result, we are unable to discern if we are looking at Jesus or a ghost.
But if one were to recognise his voice, we will disregard the opinion of others. Man had often treated God as the devil and vice versa. For in the west there is a church of Satan and they worship the devil as God. In the eastern world, the Chinese had a “Hungry Ghost Festival” where they make offering to the ghosts and not to God.
The Ironic Culture That Fears Spirits But Not God
There was a time when Paul arrives to the city of Athens to preach the gospel. During those days the Athenians were worshipping all sorts of gods, they even had an altar dedicated to the unknown god.
Even though the Greeks are known for their culture, intelligence, philosophy and knowledge,. Yet they led a life full of superstitions and blind worship. So much so that they worshipped a God that is unknown to them
Since the dawn of history man had been afraid of gods and spirit, even though they were unable to see him, they will rather worship them. They worship all sorts of spirits both good and evil, in the hope that they will not disrupt their lives. The Athenians were worried about missing a spirit, so they created the generic altar for whoever that may be.
In fact they are not the only one that does that, the Chinese have the same concept as well. If one were to visit a Chinese temple, you will see many deities each with their own individual altar. Before the Chinese leaves the temple, they will put one joss ticks onto the central urn, and one will notice that there is no idols before that urn. So who was to receive the offering? The Chinese called it “过路神” which literally means “The god that is passing by”
Both Athenians and Chinese fear spirits and they went further and they even worship the unknown god. Paul in his preaching tells them that they have neglected one God. That God is none other than the creator of mankind and the True God. He is not a God that was created by man, but in fact he created man.
The universe cannot exist by itself, for all things have a builder and the builder of all things is God. He had given us life and we must worship him.
Is Jesus The True God That Creates All Things?
But others may asks us “How can we be sure that the creator is Jesus?” So far we have seen all the miracles performed by him. Jesus had demonstrated his power as well as his authority to create all things.
John had selected 7 miracles and used them to tell us the abilities. He had talk about how Jesus had the power to create, how he can change the physical properties of water into wine. He told us how Jesus could heal a child in Capernaum when he is 33 KM away. transcending space. He told us how Jesus could make a 38 year old paralytic walk transcending time.
All these miracles tells us that Jesus had the power to transcend all physical limitation. It is a power only the creator can hold, therefore we must worship the true God
“And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped
Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”- Matthew (Matt 14:32-33)
Perhaps these men have heard of Jesus and did not believe in him completely, but now when they believe they worshipped Jesus. They believe not because of the fact that Jesus was walking on water and that the storm had stop. They saw it as an expression of the power of God. It tells them that Jesus is indeed the God who came in the flesh
The Conclusion So Far
Therefore let us worship the true God and not spirits. Let us learn to fear God and not the spirits. When we worship God we will receive that eternal life that he promise. Therefore we must worship the true God who created the heavens and the earth.
Why Walk On Water? What’s The Purpose Of Doing that?
Before we start, let us consider the question. “Why did Jesus walk on water? What is his purpose of doing so?”
Jesus did not perform that miracle to frighten his disciples or to test the limits of their courage. The gospel of Mark gave us the reason
“Then He saw them straining at rowing,
for the wind was against them. Now about
the fourth watch of the night He came to
them, walking on the sea, and would have
passed them by.”- Mark (Mk 6:48)
Jesus did so because he saw them straining on the boat. Therefore he walked towards them in the storm, and it is a good thing. Jesus wanted to help them so that they do not need to strain further.
Perhaps as the disciples are battling the storm, they may have been complaining within their heart.
“Immediately He made His disciples get
into the boat and go before Him to the
other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent
the multitude away.”- Mark (Mk 6:45)
The disciples were in this fix because they obeyed the words of Jesus and now they are greeted with a storm and they are struggling within their boats. If Jesus were to make them travel on foot, they may not have meet with the storm.
They may have felt that their suffering is a result of obeying the instruction of Jesus and the irony is that Jesus is nowhere to be found when they are stranded in the midst of their trouble.
The truth is, Jesus was on the shore alone and he saw them in trouble and the storm pressing hard against them. He choose to walk on water so that he can get to them and help them soonest. Yet these disciples were unaware and they even mistook Jesus as a ghost.
Let us now consider the other things we can learn from this.
Facing The Storms We Meet In Life
Sometimes in life we find encounter bad events and we feel that it is just because of our bad luck. We find ourselves suffering and we wonder why God was silent and not helping us. But the fact is that Jesus saw the wind against us, and he had already chosen to walk though the storm to go to them. He did it so that the disciples do not need to struggle to come to him.
But sometimes we treat Jesus as a ghost for we are unable to see him clearly. I am sure that the disciples must have felt bad for Jesus was going to help them and they treated him like a ghost.
In life we often encounter troubles and storms that troubles us. When we try to pray about it, it appears as if Jesus did nothing to help us. We feel helpless when we are up against the winds and we are in fact struggling to keep our boats afloat.
But Jesus saw the disciples struggling against the wind and he walked on water to help them. Even though we cannot see him, we need to believe that he knows what we are facing.
Indeed trouble can cloud our judgement and we sometimes ask “Why did this happen to us?” But when the storm pass, we will be able to see its benefits. That is when we realise that we have misunderstood God. For sometimes we can only be sure when we reach the end of the road.
The Conclusion From The Record Of Mark And John
That is why we need to build our faith in Jesus. Let us not focus on the problem that lies before our eyes. For our perspective over the problem will change and we will view the situation differently later on. Even though we encounter pain and trouble now Let us continue to have peace and hope within our heart. For we know that our helper is God. He can see us struggling in the storm.
Even though we cannot escape the many storms in life, but Jesus is always walking on the water to us. He did it not to frighten us but to help us. If we can see and recognise his voice we will not be afraid. We will know that is is good.
This is one lesson we can learn from the record of Mark and John