Why Did Jesus Walk On Water?
“but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down.”
The short answer to the title of today’s devotional is simple: Because He needed to get to the other side of the lake! HA! No, but seriously, He had to get out to the boat, full of disciples, in the middle of the lake.
He and his closest followers had just fed over 5,000 people. I say over 5,000, because the Bible says “5,000 men,” it doesn’t say women and children (see Mark 6:44). So with my hypothetical theory, by the time you add up wives, widows, old ladies, and kids—Jesus had just filled up the bellies of over 10,000 people! For those of you who don’t know the story, Jesus miraculously multiplied a few loaves of bread and fish, to feed a very large crowd—and there were leftovers!
He didn’t just provide what they needed, but also, what they wanted, which was more than enough!
But that’s just what Jesus does, He shows off. All of His miracles were performed for our benefit, not His. He already knew who He was, He just wanted the people following Him around to believe the same: that He was who He said He was, the Son of God! The only way to do that was to do some godly tricks, AKA, miracles.
This is why He performed every miracle, IT WAS SO THAT WE WOULD BELIEVE HIM! If it weren’t for the miracles, you could have easily chalked Him up as one of the craziest people who ever lived.
So when Jesus and His 12 disciples had just fed all these people, He went up on the side of a mountain for some one-on-one devotional time with the Father. While He was up there, His dudes took off in the boat to get to the other side of the lake without Him. When He looked out onto the lake, He saw that it was very windy, a storm had blown in. The waves were going crazy, and He saw that the disciples were rowing as hard as they could. So what does Jesus do?
The Water-Walker just strolls on out towards them, right into the storm, no big deal.
As they see Him coming, they freaked out. “IT’S A GHOST!” they said. But Jesus just gets closer, and closer, and…He calms them down. “It’s just me, relax. Don’t be afraid.” Now, in the book of Mark, his account doesn’t record Peter getting out of the boat (Mark 6:47-51). Neither does John’s writing of this event (John 6:15-21). But Matthew tells us about Peter, Jesus’ main man, getting out of the boat, AND WALKING ON WATER!
He’s just a regular guy! Like me and you! And yet he walked on water like the Son of God! Why?! How?!…
Because His focus was on Jesus.
Jesus had just trekked 3.5 miles on H2o (see John 6:19), and I’m guessing He is a power-walker because He got out there fast. Maybe He just kinda glided…not sure, but I’m gonna ask Him one day.
So with this huge storm happening around them, and Jesus just standing out on the lake, Peter says, “If it’s you, tell me to come out on the water” (Matthew 14:28). So Jesus does just that! Imagine it! Getting to walk on water!
The Bible says that Peter “walked on water and came towards Jesus” (Matthew 14:29)…Wow…I wonder how that felt! Here he is, in the middle of a huge storm, in a little dingy, and Jesus Himself says, “Come out onto the water with me.”
THAT’S JUST MIND-BLOWING—and it shows me the heart of Christ! HE IS NOT AFRAID! AND HE TELLS US NOT TO BE AFRAID! EVEN WHEN LIFE IS CRASHING ALL AROUND US, AND NOTHING SEEMS TO MAKE SENSE!
EVEN WHEN WE THINK THAT WE ARE GOING TO DROWN BECAUSE WE ARE OBEYING CHRIST AS HE CALLS US OUT ONTO THE WATER–DESPITE OUR FEAR–HE STILL SAYS, “Come with me into the storm, deeper. I’m here. It won’t hurt you. I’m with you.”
He says, “Don’t be afraid.”
So many of us don’t even want to get out of the boat! So many of us CHRISTIANS want Jesus to hurry up and get into the boat, with us, in our safe little spot. But He is saying, “No, walk out on the water with me.”
This is what we gotta do! We can no longer be afraid of what will happen to us when we stand up to the storms in our lives! We can no longer be afraid when the devil uses people to discourage us! All we gotta do is continue to look forward, eyes fixed on Christ…He is right there…wind, waves…and all.
And He is smiling warmly, gesturing with His hand stretched out, saying, “Come.”
Peter had that focus, briefly. He started to walk on the water and then he got afraid, and started to sink. He cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30). And, Jesus did. He reached down into the water, lifted him up and said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31). Then they climbed into the boat, where the storm died down; the disciples eyes’ were wide open, fixed on Jesus, baffled at what had just happened.
And there’s Jesus, sitting there. I believe He was grinning ear to ear. I could almost hear Him saying with eyebrows raised, “See?…” as the disciples stared in awe, worshiping Him, knowing that a fact was now clear; actual evidence which would cause them to alter their entire lives: “Truly you are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:33).
A prayer for you: Good morning Lord! Thank you for yet another day on your planet! What an honor it is that you’ve chosen me to be alive today! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. Today, I ask that you help them to understand just how big you are. Help them to understand that you created the very notion, the IDEA of gravity. It was your thoughts which made the very LAW of it. Therefore, you are not bound by ANY law of nature, because you are the law’s Creator! I know this is why, and how, Jesus walked on water, as you’ve revealed this to me through your Spirit. You created the laws necessary for this planet to float and spin–and for it to be at JUST the right distance from the sun to give us warmth and light! Strengthen our faith in this and help us to not doubt your greatness! But more than that, help us to realize that you created all of this, for us. So that we could have a place to live out our lives. And even more, that you created our LIVES so that we could join you in a loving relationship forever, starting now. Open up our hearts and minds to you today! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
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