Jesus Walks on the Waters!
Matthew 14:22-36 (Pastor Heo)
Jesus Walks on the Water
14:22-33pp — Mk 6:45-51; Jn 6:16-21 14:34-36pp — Mk 6:53-56
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” 34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.
As you know, before this event, the last time, Jesus fed 5,000 male adults + numerous women and children by a miracle.
After the feeding of this huge multitude, Jesus IMMEDIATELY compelled his disciples to get into the lake and dismissed all the crowds and went up on the mountainside to pray.
We can see here 3 “immediately”. Why? The answer is in John.
The crowds after this sought to make Jesus the KING by force. Their motives were not spiritual and purposes were against God’s will.
If the disciples had stayed there with them, they would have fallen in with the plans of the crowd. The disciples had previously been guilty of arguing over who was the greatest.
Jesus kingdom was to be a spiritual one, not a physical one. He didn’t want the passion of the crowd to deter them from their mission.
Actually, Jesus’ primary mission was death.
Never be confused by Jesus’ popularity among certain kinds of crowds – even today.
- They followed, weren’t followers.
- They sought, weren’t seekers.
- They believed, weren’t believers.
Even today, many people want Jesus to help, heal, solve physical problems. But very few want him to be Savior and Lord of their lives.
Jesus wanted time to communicate with his Father, quietly, individually. He was in constant contact with the Father – a life of prayer. Sometimes he spent long seasons in prayer, even the whole night. He often sought seclusion to pray. He prayed before engaging in great tasks – before the missionary tour in Galilee, before choosing the 12 apostles, before going into the Garden of Gethsemane.
Think, if the SON of GOD needed to pray, how much more do we?
Also, let’s meditate on this:
Jesus told, ordered, commanded them to go to the other side, and they obeyed. Sooner or later, they were met by a storm, strong wind and waves.
- A storm came to them because they obeyed Jesus. Did Jesus know this storm was coming? YES.
- Did Jesus direct them into this storm? YES.
In the Bible, there are 2 kinds of storms:
- Storm of correction – when God disciplines
- Storm of perfection – when God helps us grow in faith
Think of Jonah – he disobeyed God and needed corrected.
Here, they obeyed Jesus and needed perfected (i.e. to grow in faith).
Still today, some Christians have a mistaken idea, that obedience to God produces smooth sailing. Not true. Jesus, “In this world, you will have many trials and troubles and tribulations…but take heart, I have overcome the world.”
4th watch = 3am-6am
There is another reason for that storm.
The Lord needs to balance our lives.
They had just previously been filled with great excitement and a thrill of feeding 5,000. This was their lesson. The storm itself was their examination AFTER the lesson. Would they trust Jesus?
In our lives, sometimes, it is a desperate struggle with ourselves, sadness, sin. But in this story, we can get some lessons from this storm – because Jesus DELIBERATELY directed them into this storm. YES, Jesus Christ comes all the time in the storms of life. Isaiah “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you pass through the storm, they will not wash over you. When you pass through the fire, you will not be burned.”
Now, we are in the midst of the storms of life. Then, one day, someday, he will come for us and we will reach the boat safely.
“Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him.” Hebrews
“Who is it that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died, was raised to life, and sits at the right hand of God and is interceding for us.” Romans
Jesus immediately said to them, “Take courage, it is I! Don’t be afraid!”
When Jesus visits, everything will be changed. When Jesus comes in the storms of our lives, he will make a huge difference, because all he taught and did, our lives are different. We are not alone, not lost. We have the present help, the Holy Spirit, and our Father and Lord. All the problems WE have are THEIRS as well.
1 Peter “Cast ALL your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”
Peter’s special experience
In this story, will you criticize or honor Peter?
- Criticize? He acted on impulse, without thinking, OFTEN, and failed and came to sorrow and grief, and was sinking in the water here.
- Honor? Praise him for his magnificent demonstration of faith. He was the ONLY ONE who reacted in faith in the first place. He was the ONLY ONE who experienced walking on the water.
Yes, he failed MANY times, but he never failed finally. (If you never try, you’ll never fail, but you’ll also never succeed.)
Peter’s failures brought him closer and closer, one step closer to Jesus. Every time he failed, he rose again.
Are you a saint? Yes, a saint by faith. A saint is NOT a man who never fails, but a man who can fail greatly, many times, and still get back up and continue going, continue following Jesus, get closer to Jesus through all these failures.
- Peter said, “Tell me to come!”
- Jesus said, “Come!”
How long? How far? Unclear – but as long as he affixed his eyes on Jesus, he walked. But as soon as he looked around him at the wind and waves that surrounded him, his heart began to fear, and he sank.
What made the difference? Not visible circumstances, but invisible faith in Christ.
In history, our church father, Adam failed in the best possible circumstances. But, the last Adam, Jesus, succeeded in the worst possible circumstances (the cross).
It doesn’t matter your current situation or circumstances. Whether up or down, as long as you affix your eyes on Christ, you can overcome those trials and troubles and problems! But as long as you concentrate and worry about and affix your eyes on your concerns, problems, fears, worries, and circumstances, you will sink~ This is the little faith, the doubt that his disciples also experienced.
But, AS SOON AS they accepted Jesus into their boat and believed in him, the wind and waves died down and fear turned to wonder, little faith turned into true faith. “Truly you are the Son of God.”
In the middle of the storm, why did they not recognize him? They weren’t waiting for him.
However, if they HAD been waiting on him and looking for him, they wouldn’t have jumped to the wrong conclusions.
- Do you have faith in your heart? Then you will have no fear.
- Do you have fear in your heart? Then you will have no faith.
- Faith and fear cannot live together in the same heart.
- Why did Jesus walk on the water? To overcome their fears.
Yes, many times in life, we fear. Loss of life, loss of job, loss of possessions, loss of love. But if we affix our eyes on Jesus, then even these experiences will only bring us closer to Jesus. “Affix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.” Hebrews
Three times “all”
- v. 33 “All the surrounding country”
- v. 36 “All their sick” … “All were healed”
Yes, Jesus healed all the sick.
Question: Did these people know that he had just come through a storm to meet their physical needs?
In our situation, do we remember that Jesus endured a storm before saving us? Yes, we need to remember that Jesus endured the storm of the wrath and judgment of God for our sins on the cross of Calvary so that we would never need to face this storm.
So, we must bow, recognize, acknowledge him as our Lord and Savior and Son of God and Lord of Lords, King of Kings. Can we acknowledge and recognize him like this?
All glory, honor, and authority back to Christ.