John 6:14-21 THE MIRACULOUS WALKING ON WATER
In our previous text Jesus miraculously fed a multitude
with five loaves of bread and 2 fishes. In this text He
Performs a miracle which is just as spectacular. He walks
on water --- in a storm!
I. The desire of the multitude to crown Jesus as king
Both Matthew and Mark tell us that after the miraculous
feeding, Jesus sent His disciples away by boat. They were
to go in the general direction of
to Mark, they were to wait for Him at
After Jesus sent the disciples away, He then sent the
multitude away. Then Jesus, Himself, went up into a
mountain to spend time alone with God the Father. He spent
this time in prayer to God The Father and in mourning for
John the Baptist who had been beheaded.
V. 14, "Then those men, when they had seen the miracle
that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that
should come into the world." The people were so impressed
with the great miracle which Jesus performed, feeding them
all with only five loaves of bread and two fish, that they
were all in agreement that Jesus is Great Prophet which God
had promised to send. That is, they declared Him to be the
There was a problem. They were not thinking in terms of
God sending them a Savior to save them from their sins.
They were thinking only of God sending them a king to save
them from Gentile rule. They desperately wanted somebody to
drive out the Romans, who ruled over them. They were
overjoyed at the prospect that Jesus just might be the man
who would save them from the Romans. So they were on the
verge of returning to Jesus and taking Him by force and
crowning Him as their king.
V. 15, "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would
come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed
again into a mountain himself alone." That is, Jesus went
away from everybody. We have noted that He went away to
spend time in prayer and mourning. But an additional reason
He went away was so that they could not come back and
attempt to make Him their king.
The people quite aware that Jesus was not trying to make
Himself a king. However, they had already decided that He
is the man whom God intended to be their king and to deliver
them from the Romans. They were so anxious for Him to
become king that they were not willing to wait for God to
make Him their king. They were discussing taking Him by
force and crowning Him as the King of
to forcefully take Him to the temple at
would be proclaimed to be the king of all the land of
to rally all the nation of
also counting on Him to use those same miraculous powers to
make war against the Romans and drive them out.
II. The disciples caught in a storm
V. 16-17, "And when even was now come, his disciples
went down unto the sea, And entered into a ship, and went
over the sea toward
Jesus was not come to them." These verses look back to the
disciples. They had been sent away by Jesus even before the
multitude left. They had gone down into the boat and
started back in the general direction of
probably getting dusky dark when they left, but it was
really dark now.
V. 18, "And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that
blew. It was quite common on the Sea of Galilee for sudden
storms to arise. The nearby mountains would hide the
approaching storm until it would suddenly make its
appearance and bear down upon them.
So there was a sudden wind and suddenly the waves began
to rise and toss. It can be a frightening experience even
for seasoned seamen.
III. Jesus coming to the disciples
V. 19, "So when they had rowed about five and twenty or
thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and
drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid." The
disciples were struggling desperately to row the boat toward
safety. They were still a great distance from land when
they saw someone walking toward them across the huge waves.
It looked like Jesus. It was Jesus although Matthew and
Mark inform us that they really ts really Jesus. He was there in flesh and
blood walking across the waves of the sea. The full weight
of His body was supported by the waves of the sea.
John does not mention what took place next. The Apostle
Peter cried out and said, "If it is really you, Lord, then
bid me to come to you. Let me walk on the water and come
out to you." Jesus said, "Come on! Come on out!" So the
Apostle Peter hopped over the side of that boat out onto
those waves and started out toward Jesus. The Lord enabled
even the Apostle Peter to walk on the water.
He must have walked a considerable distance. He walked
right on top of that water just like Jesus did until He got
within arm's reach of Jesus. Then he looked around him at
the stormy waters. That was a big mistake. He got
frightened and down he went into the water. Jesus had to re
rescue him. Jesus reached down and lifted him back up out
of the water.
By the time Jesus got Simon Peter back to the boat, the
disciples had decided that it really was Jesus and they were
overjoyed to see Him and to have Him in the boat with them.
IV. Jesus in the boat with the disciples
V. 21, "Then they willingly received him into the
ship..." They could remember a previous occasion when He was
with them in a boat and they were in grave danger in a
storm. On that occasion Jesus just spoke to the storm and
suddenly the winds and waves were calmed. So they were
exceptionally glad to see Him and have Him in the boat with
them. They felt safe with Jesus in the boat with them.
Their faith in Him was not in vain. Matthew and Mark
tell us that when Jesus got in the boat with them the winds
suddenly stopped and the waves suddenly calmed. He did not
even have to speak to the waves this time. They just
stopped. But there was no doubt in the minds of these
disciples that it was the miraculous power of Jesus that
calmed the storm.
The King James translation of the latter part of verse
21 could easily lead us to believe that another miracle took
place. (V. 21), "...and immediately the ship was at the
land whither they went." However, the Greek word which here
is translated "immediately" is usually translated "quickly."
It does not mean "instantly," but "quickly." That is, after
the winds and waves were calmed they very easily and quickly
made it to shore. They had struggled hard and long trying
to get to shore in the storm, but they made it without any
problem once Jesus stopped the storm. Please do not
misunderstand me. If the language used in the original
writing had indicated an instantaneous moving of the boat to
land, then that is what I would believe. I know that the
mighty power of Jesus which could feed a multitude with five
loaves and two fishes and which could walk on water and calm
the storm would have no problem whatsoever moving that boat
instantly to shore. It's just a matter of rightly dividing
the word of God and believing what it says.
V. Jesus, the Savior of man
What I want to point out to you is that Jesus is the
Savior of men. This is something which the multitude should
have recognized, but didn't. He has the power to save. He
had the power to feed the multitude and He did. He had the
power to walk on the water and He did. He had the power to
enable the Apostle Peter to walk on water and He did. He
had the power to calm the storm and He did. He has the
power to save the souls of lost sinners and He does. He
saves the souls of hell-bound sinners and takes them to
The very reason that Jesus came into the world was to
save sinners. Jesus had saved all of the twelve apostles
except for Judas. And He would have saved Judas if Judas
had only trusted in Him. Even after Judas betrayed Jesus
and Jesus was crucified, if he had trusted in Jesus for
salvation, Jesus would have saved him. Jesus arose from the
grave and is able to save all who trust in Him. Back in
John 1:12 it was said that as many as received Him to them
gave He power to become the sons of God. He saved the
Lazarus and carried Him to heaven. He saved Saul of Tarsus,
who had persecuted the early Christians and made havoc of
the early church. He saved the publican who would not so
much as lift his eyes toward heaven, but cried out, "Lord,
be merciful to me, a sinner." He saved the thief on the
He saved me when I was sixteen years of age down in
Pensacola, Florida. Jesus has saved most of the people who
are here in this service today. Jesus will save you if you
will acknowledge to God that you are lost in your sins and
if you will call on Jesus and ask Him to save your soul.
Will you come this morning and call on Jesus and trust
Him to save you and keep you out of hell-fire? We are going
to have an invitation hymn and extend to you an invitation
to come publicly and trust Jesus for salvation.
We also invite those of you who are Christians and who
wish to unite with this church to come and place your
membership here with us. While we sing, will you come.