1/31/13. John 6:16-29. JESUS WALKS ON THE WATER- my devotional

1/31/13. John 6:16-29.  JESUS WALKS ON THE WATER- my devotional

John 6:16-29                                                                                    Thursday, January 31, 2013

Key Verse: 6:20                                                                                 Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF

                                                        “But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 

    Dear Lord, thank you for the gospel that brings hope and meaning, power and love forgiveness and life eternal. Thank you for all of your provision in a world full of uncertainties. Though this world may try to bring us down you are right by our side bringing us up. Thank you, our “strong tower”. Lord, please plant your word in my heart today. I pray in Jesus’ holy name. Amen!

Part 1:  The Disciples Were Not Alone (16-24)

Once again the disciples faced the raging waters as they encountered another storm during the night on the Sea of Galilee.  This time, though, Jesus was not in the boat with them.  Let’s read of this account in verses 16-21, “ When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.” The disciples were experienced fishermen. They had come across many storms in life. They handled them all well with their human strength, skill and experience. But this storm was much different. This storm came upon them quickly and in full fury. They were not ready for it and after they exhausted all of their resources. Indeed they were struggling with all their might. But this passage does not say that they were afraid because of the storm. They might have been getting worried. They might have been getting tired and nauseated and exhausted. The Bible says that they saw Jesus walking on the water and they were afraid.

Maybe they thought they saw a ghost. They were totally confused. They should not have been because Jesus is God. He is the creator of the heavens and the earth. To walk on water is nothing for the Creator God. God can do all things.

They may have fretted thinking that God is not with them. But, though they could not see Jesus in the boat with them, Jesus had them on his mind and he was praying for them. He was with them and now he was going to let them know it through his physical presence. Jesus is always with us. We can find assurance in the actions of Jesus.  First, Jesus prayed on the mountain.  No doubt, his disciples were always in his prayers.  Then, Jesus came down and entered their storm.  As he approached their boat his voice penetrated the troubling storm, saying “It is I; Do not be afraid.”  Jesus climbed into their boat and His peace brought them safely to the place he had planned for them.  In our struggles of life and ministry we may not think that God is with us, but he is.

This is a striking reminder of the storms of life Christians encounter as they seek to obey the Lord. In the past passage, Jesus had fed the five loaves and two fish and showed the disciples how they could serve the crowds with all of their vast needs. We can see the challenges of ministry in verses 22-24, “ The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.” The crowds were always there.

The trouble comes (or blessing come) when we embrace this calling and mission personally. When we have the attitude, “The buck stops with me.” then storms of life will surely come our way. We will suddenly find struggles and troubles. They will come and they are there to strengthen us and grow us as servants of God. God is treating us as his sons and daughters.

Jesus is praying for us and with us and leading us through the struggles of life and ministry to the peaceful shore. This is the comfort we can experience in the midst of our trials. I have been through some trials in life and ministry lately. There was the two years struggle with despair and depression and anger. There was the isolation from those who were closest to me. I felt like giving up. But Jesus was with me. He was walking above the tumult and the storms. He told me,  “It is I; don’t be afraid.” I was struggling in my storm of life and ministry holding onto my own futile efforts to keep my boat from capsizing. I was too busy keeping “the system” intact to lift my eyes to see Jesus walking up to me taking away my fear and promising me peace. But by the grace of God, Jesus tore down walls and layers of stubbornness and helped me to have a wonderful breakthrough. I feel growing strength within me to embrace the cross that Jesus has in store for me.  Thank you Jesus.

Part 2:  Spiritual Food That Endures (25-29)

       Jesus told the people the priorities they need on order to find peace and satisfaction in serving the Lord. Verses 25-27 read, 25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

People come to Jesus for all kinds of reasons.  But what is the right reason to seek Jesus?  The crowds in this passage pursued Jesus because he satisfied the hunger pains in their stomachs. Jesus was willing to do that, but he wanted to give them much more. Jesus sought to satisfy the spiritual hunger of their souls; he wanted them to have food that endures to eternal life.  This food is the free gift of Christ, available to all who believe in him.

I thank God for the spiritual food that Jesus gives. I am not just working to pay the bills and to only survive in this world. What would life be like if I was only working and living to pay the bills and keep three meals on the table and a roof over my head? The meaning of my life would not be very satisfying. It would be doubly meaningless because I am getting older and the years are passing. Jesus gives me absolute and satisfying meaning. I can work for food that does not spoil, but for food that endures to eternal life. When I come to God and pray and meditate on his word and love and serve others in Jesus’ name, I can be working for food that endures to eternal life. It is satisfying intellectually and spiritually. It is challenging. It brings great peace. It bears fruit that lasts to eternal life. Do I work to pay the bills? Yes. Do I work to provide for the needs of my family? Yes. But in Christ, that is not all. There is so much more and I thank God for what God has provided.

The people were fixated on doing physical work to receive some benefit from God. Look at verses 27-29, “28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”  People just don’t get it. They always think that they need to do things in order to receive endless blessing from God. They have this cause and effect attitude. I do something and God gives me something. I is not like that. It is all about having a relationship with Jesus. It is believing in Jesus. This is actually hard work especially in times when there is suffering. When there is personal suffering can be believe? Can the people of New Town believe in Jesus? Is it easy for them? But holding onto Christ in faith is the blessed work of God. I thought that holding onto a particular mission in life without any deviation, is believing in the Jesus. But I don’t think that now. God guides us. He is a creative force in our lives. I need to believe in Jesus in every storm as he guides my life.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for always being with us.

One Word:  Jesus says, “It is I; do not be afraid.


Interact with us using Facebook

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.