The story in John Chapter 6 is not about the weather or fishing, it is about the power and sovereignty of God. It is a story about how we respond with confidence and hope when trials come to our lives. The biblical premise in this story is that we need a resource outside of ourselves to navigate life well.
Jesus had just finished miraculously feeding 5,000 men plus women and children.
Verses 16-17 says, “When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. Darkness had already set in, but Jesus had not yet come to them.”
The story in the book of John, Chapter 6 is a parallel passage, this means that the account is included in more than one book. In the gospel of Matthew, we find that “Jesus made the disciples get into the boat.”
Why did Jesus make them get into the boat? In that day, the Jews were looking for a miracle worker, and they would make Him king. Now that Jesus has fed 5,000 people there is a rush to make Him king.
So, Jesus sends the disciples off in a boat, and He goes off to a mountain to pray. Jesus sent them into the storm. The disciples obey a direct command of God, and they end up in a storm.
One of the promises of God is “In this world you will have tribulation. But take courage, I have overcome the world.”
There’s a difference between a trial and a consequence. A trial is a difficult season allowed by God to develop our character. A consequence is a result of ungodly choices that we made or are currently making. In a trial, we trust God. If it is a consequence, we repent.
Verse 18 says, “A high wind arose, and the sea began to churn.”
The sea of Galilee is 700 feet below sea level, the mountains around the sea climb as high as 9,000 feet above sea level. When the cold air of the mountains meets the warm air of the sea, storms can suddenly start.
We learn in verse 19 that they had rowed about 3-4 miles. It is probably 3am in the morning at this point. One can imagine their emotional state at this point of the journey. The disciples might have seen this storm as an interruption; however, it was on God’s agenda.
“They saw Jesus walking on the sea. He was coming near the boat, and they were afraid.”
Remember, the point of the John is to demonstrate that Jesus is the Son of God. Therefore, walking on water is a strong sign that Jesus was not like the rest of the people.
In the Old Testament, Job said “He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.”
John is using this account to connect the God of the Old Testament with the person of Jesus in the New Testament. He is showing clear evidence that Jesus is God.
The word “afraid” comes from “fear” and it means a visceral reaction to the circumstances coming; in other words, a gut reaction about the future.
The opposite of faith is fear. Fear says, “God isn’t who He says He is, and will not do what He says He will do.” Faith says, “I can trust God to be who He says He is and do what He says He can do.”
“But he said to them, “It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him on board, and at once the boat was at the shore where they were heading.”
Jesus calmed the disciples before He calmed the storm. That’s what He will do for you. Sometimes He will calm the storm which calms you. Other times, He will calm you in the storm.
What do I do when the circumstances of life hit hard? How do I act when life is falling apart?
Three Steps to Peace in the Middle of the Storm
1. Open your ears
“He said to them…”
Many people say, “I wish I could hear God’s voice.” Do you want to hear God’s voice? Read His book out loud.
Do not make it more complicated than it is. The Bible is the way God has chosen to speak to you. The Spirit of God takes the Word of God and speaks to the child of God.
A trial is God’s way of developing us, if we respond to the trial by leaning on Christ and following His design, we will overcome. However, the enemy will always try to destroy us in the trial and get us to respond in negative, ungodly ways.
Open up your ears and listen to the still small voice in the middle of the storm.
- Who is in the boat with you?
The disciples were all in the boat together. We are saved into a family, the church, and we need one another.
Those Christians who say they do not need the church, they are not living in obedience and not walking in the life Christ promised.
The way God grows you is done in a practical way, with real people. The Bible calls the church a body. What happens to a body disconnected from the rest of the body? It dies.
- Look up
“It is I”
These words are the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew “I AM.” John is presenting a compelling argument that Jesus is the Son of God. The Lord says throughout the book of John:
The person in the dark, I am the light.
The person who’s lost, I am the way.
The person who is confused, I am the truth.
The person who needs a new way, I am the door.
What we see in this account is that Jesus is not distant, He is right there when you we are hurting. The best thing to do when we are walking through a dark valley is to worship!
True worship is the recognition and adoration that Jesus is who He says He is. True worship reminds our souls that the tomb is empty, and the throne is occupied!
Pastor Chris Williams
To learn more about Pastor Chris and his teaching, visit us on the web at fcfamily.org and make sure you subscribe to receive these weekly encouragements in your inbox.