John 6:15-21 - Part 2
Storms come in our lives and we must be prepared for when they come. What life does to us depends a great deal on what life finds in us, and what the disciples needed was faith. This event has had many interesting, and many false, interpretations as theologians have attempted to explain away the miracle.
1. One theory says there were stones in the water and since Jesus was waling close to shore, He was walking on the stones. So why did Peter begin to sink?
2. Another is translates the word “on” (Matthew 14:25; John 6:19) as “around,” claiming Jesus walked around the lake. Neither the original text nor the obvious intent of the author supports this view.
What happened was presented in the Gospels as a miracle, and it is meant to be treated as such. Jesus intended for this miracle to teach the disciples deeper spiritual realities, and it can do the same for us.
This is a story of faith from beginning to end. Matthew 14:22 tells us Jesus “made” the disciples get into the boat.” The word “made” could also be translated “compelled”—“to compel by force or persuasion or to constrain.” The disciples did not want to go to the other side but were persuaded, even compelled, by Jesus, they may have even argued with Him about it. I could picture Him giving the boast a little shove to get them going in the right direction. Jesus deliberately sent them out into the lake! There are some points that I would like to make about this story.
A. Five Points
1. The Lord Often Sends Us Into Storms (Matt.14:22; Mark 6:45)
a) Some Storms We Cause Ourselves Because We Disobey God.
q Jonah Is A Good Example Of This (Jonah 1:1-4): God told Jonah to go to Nineveh but he buys a ticket to Tarshish. God tells him to go east—Jonah decides not to obey God, and go west. Therefore, the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, God was responsible for this storm, it was supernatural.
q King David Is Also A Good Example Of This (2Samuel 12:9-14)—David brought this upon himself although his storm was on land not on water.
b) Some Storms Come Because Others Disobey God.
q In Acts 27 Paul warned the Roman centurion that trouble was coming, but the officer did not listen to Paul but to others. That night everything was lost accept the passengers and the boards on which they paddled to shore. The storm was not Paul’s fault but he still suffered
q Achin’s family died because he transgressed God’s covenant by taking the accursed thing and stole and deceived then hid it among themselves (Joshua 7:11), there was sin in the camp. God even accounted this to Israel (7:1,11)
q Adam—because of Adams sin, sin entered the world and death spread to all men (Romans 5:12).
c) Some Storms Come Because We Obey God (Matthew 14:22)—
q Daniel Would Have Never Had To Face A Lion’s Den, if he had not decided to be faithful to God.
q Paul Would Have Never Had Persecution If He Had Just Stayed In Tarsus.
q The Disciples Would Not Be In A Storm If They Had Not Obeyed Jesus. Following and obeying Christ will take us into some fierce storms, but the rewards are even greater. The crowd wanted to make Jesus King (John 6:14-15). The Lord knew that their motives were not spiritual and that their purposes were out of God’s will. If the disciples had stayed, they would have fallen in with the plans of the crowd.
The Command in itself should have assured them that they would reach their destination, but they seemed to forget it when in the midst of the storm.
1) God Can Use Different Kinds Of Storms To Guide Us In Life:
(a) Correcting Storms come to chasten us when we’ve disobeyed god’s will. If you are in a correcting storm, get right with God and get back on the right track.
(b) Perfecting Storms because we’ve obeyed the Lord. If it is a perfecting storm wait & trust on the Lord no matter how difficult it may be.
1. The storm is much easier to endure than to feel the pain when we are out of God’s will!
2. Do not think for a moment that being in God’s will is always “smooth sailing”; Jesus promised, “in the world you shall have tribulation”(John 16:33).
3. In the storm God will prepare you for what He’s preparing for you.
2. Jesus Is Making Intercession For Me (Matt.14:23; Mark 6:46)
After Jesus compelled His disciples to get into the boat and cross the sea & after He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray (Matt.14:23).
a) Jesus Is Presently Engaged In The Ministry Of “Intercessory Prayer”
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)… Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us (Romans 8:34)… For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5 )… For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; (Hebrews 9:24)… My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2:1)
b) Jesus Sees Us Through the Storm, He is Watching (Mark 6:48)
Remember Jesus Cares For You—I don’t know where you are today or what position you are in. You may be in a hard spot right now; you may be sitting alone in a corner of darkness. You may be facing temptations and problems that are too great to bear. You may find yourself out on a stormy sea and you feel as if your little boat is going down. He sees you. He knows your problems.
3. The Lord Will Come To Us (Matt.14:25; Mark 6:48; John 6:19)
a) Now about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea
The Jews At This Time Divided The Night Into Four Watches: The first was from 6-9 in the evening, the second from 9-12, the third from 12-3, and the fourth from 3-6.
Jesus Waited A Long Time Before He Came To Them—It probably began to be daylight before our Lord came to his disciples. Remember He waited until Lazarus had been dead three days before He came to Bethany. He could of have prevented the death of Lazarus and the storm in the first place. But Jesus purposely allowed Mary and Martha and the disciples to reach the extremity of need before He intervened.
Have You Ever Felt Like The Lord Has Deserted You? Remember that the Lord is always with us. He always comes to us in the storms of life but He may not come at the time we should think He should come. Often times the Lord waits until all human hope is gone (Phil.3:13). He wants to test our faith. Once their strength and skill had been exhausted, the praise for salvation and delivering power would go to God, not to man!
The Lord’s Presence Is With Us In Moments Of Despair, Pain & Difficulty—When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you (Isaiah 43:2)
q Joseph—“The Lord was with Joseph…But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him…The Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did” (Gen.39:2, 20-21, 23).
q Joshua—Joshua met Jesus at Jericho, where the Lord presented Himself as a conquering King (Joshua 5:13-15).
q Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego—The Lord was with these three faithful men in a fiery furnace (Daniel 3:24-25)
q Paul — Many Time’s We Read Of This In the Life of Paul.
1. The Lord stood with Paul in Corinth (Acts 18:1-11)—After the Jews rejected Paul’s message of the Gospel that Jesus is the Christ, they opposed him and blasphemed him, and Paul wanted to leave.
2. The Lord Stood with Paul in Jerusalem (Acts 23:11)—Paul was beaten very badly & for his own safety, the Romans kept Paul confined in the barracks of Fort Antonia. Alone in his cell, the apostle was physically battered, discouraged, and uncertain of his future. But on the night immediately following his hearing before the Sanhedrin, the Lord stood at his side. The Lord appeared in person to His servant Paul. He began by consoling Paul, exhorting him to take courage. God graciously comforts His downcast servants, so much so that Scripture calls Him “the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3).
3. The Lord Stood With Paul In The Storm (Acts 27:22-26)
4. The Lord Stood With Paul in His Trial Before Caesar (2Tim4:16-17)—Even in Paul’s trial before Caesar, the Believers in Rome abandoned him, but the Lord stood with him.
b) Would have passed them by (Mark 6:48)—Literally, ‘to come along side of’. Jesus wanted to test their faith, so He was going ‘to come along side’ in order that they would invite Him in.
c) We Don’t Always Recognize the Lord When He Does Come (Matt.14:25-27; Mark 6:49)
Sometimes He Comes & Reveals Himself To Us In A Way In Which We Do Not Expect. I am sure the disciples did not expect the Lord to come to them by walking on the water: The disciples thought that Jesus was a ghost.
4. The Lord Helps Us Grow (Matt.14:27-31; Mark 6:49-50; John 6:20-21)
Jesus will one day leave the disciples, they were going to face many storms in their life & ministry & they were going to have to trust Him even though He was not physically present with them
a) When they cried out for fear, immediately Jesus spoke to them (Matt.14:27)—
The Word of Christ Delivers Us From Fear—The sound of Jesus’ voice and the assurance of His Word brought confidence to the disciples. This is why we are to “Let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly’ (Col.3:16). This should remind us that we too need to hear His Word when we are going through the storms of life.
When We Cry Out To God He Hears Us And Will Answer Us—“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4)… “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble (Psalm 91:15)… ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know’ (Jer.33:3).
Sometimes He Answers Before We Even Call To Him (Isaiah 65:24). Jesus was already on the way before the disciples called out to Him.
To Make Us Grow In Faith & Trust In Him, & Grow Stronger And Much Closer To Him.—Peter wrote, “After you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation (1Pet.5:10).
b) Peters Said, Lord if it is You, command me to come to You (Matt.14:28-32).
Peter’s Strength Was In His Always Seeking To Be Near Jesus—When Peter was near Jesus, he had amazing power.
q When Peter saw Jesus, why didn’t he wait in the boat until Jesus got there? Peter probably said, ‘Jesus is over there, I am over here, that is not good, I must go over their. It never entered his mind that he was not able to walk on water, but he had such a desire to be with Jesus he went to be with Him.
The Point Is This: When Peter Was Near Jesus, He Could Do The Miraculous.
q Matthew 14:22-33—Peter found himself walking on water
q Matthew 16:15-17—When Peter’s mind and spirit were centered on Christ, he was used by God to make that great testimony to Jesus’ Messiaship and Divine Sonship. Peter said you are the Christ the Son of the living God.
q John 18:3-11; Luke 22:45-51—Peter was in the Garden of Gethsemane when a whole band of soldiers-as many as 500-came to arrest Jesus.
q A little while later, Jesus went in to be tried, and Peter stood outside. This man who could walk on water, speak with divine inspiration, & exhibit miraculous courage, on three occasions denied Jesus (John 18:15-27)! What happened?
§ Peter followed Jesus at a distance, He was removed from Jesus
§ Apart from Jesus he was nothing (John 15:4,5,7,8)
q Peter found himself walking on the water until his attention turned from Jesus to himself & his circumstances
5. Receiving the presence of Christ delivers from fear (John 6:20-21). This is critical to note, for having Christ present and hearing His Word to “fear not” are not enough. A person must “willingly receive” Christ into his life. Deliverance came to the disciples only after they had received Jesus into the ship.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20).
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).
6. The results of receiving Christ were threefold (Matt.14:33)
a) Deliverance From Fear, The Calming Of The Storm, & Worshiping Jesus (Matt.14:33). Jesus Christ gives the strength to row through all the storms of life. He has the power to erase fear and calm any storm.
They were now more than simply amazed, as the crowds and they themselves had always been. They were taken past amazement to worship, which is what Jesus’ signs and miracles were intended to produce. At last they were beginning to see Jesus as the One whom God highly exalted and on whom He bestowed the name which is above every name, and at whose name “every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11).