- Mark 6:34; Luke 9:11b
- Mark 6:35-44; John 6:5-14
- Mark 6:45-50; John 6:15-21
- Matt. 14:28-33; Mark 6:51-52
- Mark 6:53-56
- John 6:22-71
- Mark 7:1-13
- Matt. 15:10-20; Mark 7:14-23
- John 7:1
Today's reading includes two amazing miracles Jesus performed: feeding over five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish; and walking on water. These events happen within a 24-hour span. Jesus fed the 5,000+ people because He had compassion on them and they had come to hear Him teach and heal. The Jews were so excited about Jesus' providing food and healing for their physical bodies that they wanted to take Jesus and make Him their earthly king. They misunderstood Jesus' kingdom to be earthly in nature rather than spiritual. Jesus quickly escaped them to a mountain where He could be alone.
Before going to the mountain, Jesus instructed His disciples to get in a boat and cross to Gennesaret, and they obeyed. When nightfall came a strong wind began to blow against the disciples, slowing their progress crossing the Sea of Galilee. Jesus looked out and saw the disciples straining at the oars, and late in the night, Jesus went out to them, walking on the water. The disciples saw Him and were very afraid, believing Jesus to be a ghost. They cried out aloud and were terrified. Jesus spoke immediately, telling them not to be afraid, that it was He.
Peter, in his typical fashion, was the first to speak. He told Jesus if it was Him to call Peter to come walk out to Him.
29 “Come,” [Jesus] said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
(Matt. 14:29-33 NIV)
There are a lot of lessons we can draw from these events, but let's focus on three of the most important:
- Jesus has complete control over nature and its laws. After all, GOD is the One who set them all up in the first place, so it makes perfect sense that He has power over them as well.
- Remember Jam. 1:19, which says: ...But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. Peter had a tendency to speak before thinking. In this situation, he showed strong faith at first, volunteering to get out of the boat to meet Jesus on the water. But then, what might have seemed cool at first, got really scary as Peter thought about the wind and waves and what he was doing in actually standing on water! In this situation, Peter set a great example of one who is willing to quickly place their trust in Jesus. At other times, Peter spoke before thinking and it got him in trouble.
- Whenever we find ourselves in a scary situation, as Peter had when he began to sink, we need to do exactly what Peter did, and cry out to Jesus to save us. Note that both times in these events, when the disciples were afraid, Jesus responded immediately, without hesitation. That's the GOD we serve. When we pray, He answers immediately. Sometimes the answer isn't what we ask for, but GOD responds in some way. Jesus is our salvation and, when we're sinking in life's problems, He can and will reach out and save us if we ask Him to do so.