Jesus walks on water

The Miracles of Jesus

March 12, 2021

Jesus walks on water

Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:50; John 6:21

When I was much younger, one of my favorite movies was “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

In the original 1947 edition, Walter, played by comedian Danny Kaye, was a clumsy guy who daydreamed a lot. He also had the uncanny ability to tune out the real world by tugging on his ear. (One might say that Walter lost his focus on what was going on around him), Then Walter would proceed to fantasize about being a hero, singer, or dancer.

In Matthew’s Gospel, we find Peter losing his focus, and it almost cost him his life.

Let’s take a look at Matthew’s account of Jesus walking on water, as well as excerpts of Mark’s and John’s.

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night, he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately, Jesus spoke to them, saying, 

“Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 

He said, “Come.” 

So, Peter got out, walked on the water, and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink; he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him,”O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 

And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:22-33

For they all saw him and were terrified. Mark 6:50

Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. John 6:21

You’ve just read the passages, so I don’t want to reiterate every word back to you. Instead, let’s take a look at some essential points of the Bible passages.

  • We see that Jesus once again left the crowds of people and took time alone to be in prayer.
    • This is something we should do every day, take time to be alone with God in prayer
  • Here we go again! The Apostles are halfway across the lake, and a big storm comes up. Only this time, Jesus isn’t with them. Instead, He walks across the water to them.
    • This means Jesus walked about 3 ½ miles to them, on the water
    • In all three Gospels, the men in the boat think they are seeing a ghost.
    • Only in Mark’s Gospel does it state that “For they all saw him and were terrified.”
      • This seems to verify this was no trick, no hoax; they all saw the same thing.
  • Matthew’s Gospel is the only one that tells us of Peter getting out of the boat and walking on water to Jesus. Here’s what happened.
    • First, Peter asks permission of Jesus to get out of the boat and walk to Him.
      • This tells us that Peter believed it was Jesus, and He believed that Jesus could make this happen.
    • Peter is doing fine walking on water toward Jesus. But then something happens.
      • Peter loses his focus on Jesus. At first, Peter had shut out the world. But now, he sees the wind, waves, and dark clouds around him.
        • Because Peter let the world in and lost his focus on Jesus, his faith in the fact that Jesus could sustain his ability to walk on water left him. What happened?
        • He began to sink and cried out for Jesus to help him.
        • And Jesus did just that; He reached out and pulled Peter out of the water.
        • Jesus did one more thing. He reprimanded Peter.
        • O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Peter’s faith got weak. Truth be told, so does ours. Often in our lives, we are caught in a life-changing storm, and we’re struggling to stay afloat. It could be finances, a job, a relationship, or a health problem. We try to handle the storm in our life ourselves, and generally, that doesn’t work, does it?

Instead, we should put our complete focus on Jesus. On His healing powers, on His ability to calm any storm, on the water, or in our lives. How many times have you lost focus on Jesus and tried to fix things yourself to only fail? Then what happens? We yell out to God and say, “Lord, save me.” Keep your focus on Jesus; go to Him before the storm becomes overwhelming. He’s there for you and me.

There are one last item and one more miracle. Perhaps you didn’t notice, but there are two miracles in this story. Retake a look at what John says in his Gospel.

Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. John 6:21

Timeline and distance check! The miracle of Jesus walking on water happened while the disciples were in the middle of the lake, about 3 ½ miles from shore. Jesus gets in the boat, and “Immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.”

No transporter beam, no time tunnel, and no time stone (I had to get a Marvel mention in.) The boat was just there at the shore, in the blink of an eye. Jesus is never done performing miracles in our lives. We Just have to pay attention.

Dear Jesus. Help us to maintain a strong faith by keeping our focus on you. We see miracles in our lives and around us all of the time. Thank you for continuing to be the miracle worker you are, our Lord and Savior. Amen

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