Jesus Walks On The Sea

Matthew 14:24-33 - And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.


Mark 6:47-52 - And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. 48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. 49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: 50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. 51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. 52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.


John 6:16-21 - And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, 17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 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. 20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.


Mark is the text for this message, but points will be taken from all the gospels.


I.    Introduction.

A.     The key to this passage is verse 52. 

1.       The problem of the night is caused by the evening before. 

2.       God used an “unrelated” event to teach the lesson of the evening before. 

3.       John 6:14,15 reveals that those that were fed from the loaves and fishes understood that Jesus Christ is the son of God, the promised Messiah, but the disciples did not understand. 

a.       Those that received the food understood the food was multiplying. 

b.       The disciples, who was distributing the food, did not understand the food was multiplying. 

4.       The lesson for us is: those nearest the miracle might not see what God is doing. 

B.     The hard heart and unbelief of the disciples caused all this to happen. 

1.       It didn't have to happen. 

2.       If they had only considered the miracle of the loaves, and the lesson Jesus wanted them to learn, this terrible night crossing would not have happened. 

3.       Today: if we would only learn the lessons Jesus wants us to learn he wouldn't have to put us between "a rock and a hard place" to force us to look to Him.

C.     The disciples had just participated in the feeding of the 5,000, yet failed to understand that Christ would also provide for them in the ministry before them. 

1.       The disciples are completely ignorant of the mission they will be sent on. 

2.       We are also ignorant of the mission Christ has before us. 

a.       This point is true for IBC as a church. 

b.       This point is also true for individuals. 

3.       We should learn to trust God in present situations, therefore we will be able to trust God through tough times. 

D.     Mark 6:46 – Jesus is praying for us when we don’t know it. 

1.       Mark 6:48 reveals that Jesus is watching the disciples as they attempt to obey is commands. 

a.       Jesus does not help them obey, but only watches, because the disciples must learn the lesson they did not learn the evening before. 

b.       We can be very sure Jesus continually watches over us, even though we might be “toiling in rowing”. 

2.       II Peter 1:9 - There is a difference between having salvation and having the peace that comes with salvation. 

a.       If we don't add to your faith the things listed in II Peter 1:5-8, we will even forget that we are saved!

b.       Compare Philippians 4:7 and 9 - There is a difference in having the peace of God and the God of peace.

3.       II Peter 1:8 - There is a difference in having works and fruits.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 


II.    Crossing the Sea of Galilee.

A.     Jesus has commanded the disciples to go without him to Bethsaida.

1.       Jesus is alone; the 5,000 that have just been fed is alone; and the disciples are alone.

2.       Of all the people who are alone, Jesus has a lesson only for the disciples. 

3.       The disciples are toiling in rowing because the wind is contrary to them.

a.       Jesus controls the winds, and he caused the wind to blow contrary to them. 

b.       The disciples don't know Jesus is watching them, they think they are on their own.

B.     The disciples attempt to obey the commands of Christ, yet they did not see the lesson of the evening before. 

1.       It is very possible for all of us to try to obey without understanding, or being in awe of who Christ is. 

2.       The whole point of our lives is to glorify God for who he is, not just to obey his commands. 

3.       Obedience is good, but being amazed because of God’s majesty is better. 

C.     How long did it take to cross the sea?

1.       Verse 15 - Jesus fed the 5,000 the evening meal.

2.       Verse 23 - In the evening, Jesus was alone on the mountain.

3.       Verse 22 - Straightway - The disciples left immediately after the evening meal.

4.       It was night (actually near morning) when Jesus came to them.

D.     The fourth watch is from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.

1.       They had tried all night to cross the Sea of Galilee.

2.       John 6:19 - the disciples had traveled approximately 25 to 30 furlongs. 

3.       A furlong is 1/8 of a mile, therefore they had traveled approximately 3-4 miles, which puts them in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. 

4.       It is about 8.5 miles from Tiberias to Bethsaida going across the Sea of Galilee.

E.      The trouble of the crossing.

1.       The way was hard.

2.       There was a storm on the sea.

3.       They had tried all night to cross the Sea of Galilee.

4.       The wind is contrary.

F.      Lessons learned.

1.       The way is hard, but they don't stop trying.

2.       The way may be hard for us, but we must not stop trying.

3.       If you feel like you aren’t making the progress you ought to be making, you may be right.

4.       That doesn’t mean you should stop trying, or that God expects “results” when you can’t produce “results.”

5.       We might say, “If things don’t get better, I am just going to quit!”

6.       You can say that, but it doesn’t mean you are right about saying it or about quitting. 

a.       What would happen to the disciples if they had quit rowing in the middle of a storm, at night, in the middle of the sea? 

b.       Sometimes God puts us into situation where it is impossible to go on, and impossible to quit. 

G.     What will happen if the disciples quit rowing? 

1.       What will happen if you quit when things get hard? 

2.       Picture rowing against the wind. 

a.       When you quit rowing, you go backward.

b.       Or you are tossed by the waves and the boat sinks. 

c.       You and your family are destroyed. 

3.       Just because God has given us a command, and we have His power with us, doesn't mean we will have an easy time.

4.       When we are toiling in obedience, He is always aware of our needs, whether you feel like he is or not.


III.    Jesus comes to the disciples.

A.     He didn't have any trouble finding them.

1.       Jesus made better time walking on the water than the disciples made by rowing!  (He could have “appeared” instead of walking from shore to ship.) 

2.       Jesus knew the trouble they were in because of the wind.

3.       He didn't expect them to be any farther along than they were.

B.     Mark 6:48 – Jesus made as if He would go further.

1.       Does it seem that Jesus is going to pass you by? 

2.       Song: Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour 

3.       Luke 18:35-43 - Jesus was going pass the blind man, but he cried out and was healed.

C.     Jesus knows what oppresses his work. 

1.       Jesus doesn't expect us to be any farther along than the circumstances allow. 

2.       We have this mental image of what we expect, but that may be completely different from what God expects. 

3.       Matthew 24:44-47 - God expects us to be busy about His business.

D.     Note the faith of the disciples.

1.       They don't quit because of trouble along the way.

2.       God expects us to have faith.

3.       The disciples really did not have any idea why it was so important for them to cross on this bad night. 

a.       We might not understand why it is so important to keep on when we face bad times.

b.       Sometimes, we don't know why the commands of God are so important, but our part is to obey, not to question why.


IV.    The fear of the disciples.

A.     They didn't know who Jesus was.

1.       Sometimes we don't realize the answer to our problem when it comes to us.

2.       Sometimes we look upon the solution to our problems as the worse thing there is.

B.     Jesus answers them straightway.

1.       He let them alone while they struggled to obey His orders.

2.       He doesn't let them doubt when they don't know who He is.

3.       This is also true in our lives.


V.    The faith of Peter.

A.     He was the only one that wanted to go to Jesus.

1.       The rest were content to stay in the safety of the ship, letting Jesus come to them.

2.       Are we willing to strike out in the midst of problems, going to Jesus?

3.       Do we let mocking people keep us from closeness with Jesus?

4.       Even if they are supposed to be "disciples" of Christ?

B.     It doesn't matter what it takes, Peter will go to Jesus.  What a noble goal!

1.       Jesus will never refuse to let us come to Him.

2.       Peter walked on water.

C.     Peter didn't want to walk on water, he wanted to go to Jesus.

1.       We may not walk on water, but we can, through Christ, do the impossible.

2.       This is true living by faith.

D.     Peter began to sink when he saw bad circumstances.

1.       Peter began to sink even though he was close enough to touch Jesus.

2.       It is wrong to rebuke Peter when we are sitting in the boat. 

a.       The circumstances of this life also causes us to fail in our Christian duties.

b.       Jesus will never let us fail. 

c.       All our failings belong to us.

E.      The rebuke for Peter.

1.       He was not rebuked for starting on the failed venture.

2.       He was rebuked for not having enough faith.

3.       Is not a lack of faith our main problem?


VI.    Peace.

A.     When Jesus gets into the ship with the disciples, there is peace.

B.     When we have the presence of Jesus, there is peace.

1.       We know Jesus is with us, we do not necessarily feel his presence.

2.       The storms of life will continue, but we can have peace because Jesus is with us.


VII.    Three results are recorded in the three different gospels this miracle is recorded. 

A.     Matthew records the disciples came to him and worshipped him because of the miracle, declaring him to be the Son of God. 

1.       Matthew 14:32,33 states, And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. 

2.       The disciples see what the 5,000 saw the evening before. 

3.       They only saw the truth when it personally affected them. 

4.       Jesus chastened the disciples physically because they would not see spiritual truths. 

5.       Jesus chastens us physically when we refuse to see spiritual truths. 

B.     Mark records the disciples wondered beyond measure, not considering the miracle of the loaves, because their heart was hardened so they could not believe. 

1.       Mark 6:51 states, And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. 

2.       If the disciples (and us) would only see what God intends us to see, we would not have to go through a storm during the night. 

3.       It is certainly not wrong to pray that God open our eyes that we might see the wonders God has for us to behold. 

C.     John records they willingly received Christ into the ship, saying nothing of their reactions of worship or unbelief.  The ship was immediately at the land they were going toward. 

1.       John 6:21 states, Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went. 

2.       What the disciples tried to do all night long was accomplished only after Jesus was in the ship with them.