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Monday, November 14, 2016

Jesus Walks on Water – John 6

      The miracle of multiplying the bread was for Jesus’ disciples and also for the crowd. However, the event on the stormy sea is for Jesus’ disciples only. His disciples had to trust Jesus to multiply the bread and meat, and now they must trust Jesus in a fierce storm. In this event on the sea, Jesus will show them that their walk will not always be easy but they can trust Him.
       Jesus has commanded His disciples to get into a boat and cross over the Sea of Galilee to the other side. Jesus went up on a mountainside to commune with God.  In faith, trust and obedience to Jesus and His Word, His disciples get into the boat and go to the other side.
      The disciples found themselves in the midst of the sea in complete darkness fighting against a ferocious storm. I am sure if you picture in your mind being in complete darkness with huge waves and a powerful wind coming against your vessel, you can imagine the fear in these disciples. They no doubt thought they were going to die. Some of these disciples were fisherman so they were well aware of the possibility of a storm coming up. In spite of this knowledge, these disciples obeyed Jesus’ instruction to cross over the lake of Galilee to the other side. The disciples rowed and rowed, but the power of the wind and waves was too strong for their strength. Jesus, who knows and sees all things, saw that His disciples were making headway painfully. At His appointed time, Jesus will come to save them walking on the water of the stormy sea.
       Through the event of this storm, Jesus will teach His disciples that without Him they can do nothing. They can, however, trust Him to carry them through any storm in life and save them. Jesus will also reveal His divinity to them through His authority over nature/creation and His ability to walk on water. His disciples saw His miracles and understood He had power given to Him by God but they did not understand that He is God. They didn’t know Him in His fullness. Christians can also be around those who teach, preach and serve without truly knowing Jesus in all of His fullness. 
        Jesus, who operates in the spiritual realm even while walking on earth, will use this earthly rescue mission to teach His disciples and us spiritual truth. Remember that the Word of God in 1 Corinthians 15:48 says, “The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.” So Jesus who is spiritual uses the natural to teach spiritual truth.
Fourth Watch – Mark 6:48; Matthew 14:25
        About the fourth watch of the night He went out to them, walking on the lake.      
       The fourth watch is just before the break of dawn of a new day – between 3 am and 6 am. It is always darkest before the dawn. The Light of the world will soon come to save them. When Jesus came into the world as a newborn babe, the world was in darkness with no one to save humanity from the ruler of darkness. God’s voice had been silent for over 400 years. In His time and with the depth of His love, God sent His Son Jesus into the world to save it from sin and the kingdom of darkness. God didn’t send Jesus into the world to give us an “easy” life, but an eternal, holy life. It is by the ways of God and the Spirit of God in us that the kingdom of darkness is defeated.
In the Beginning – Genesis 1:6
       And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.”

      At creation, God separated the waters of heaven from the waters of earth. Through His Son Jesus, He would bridge the gap. The waters had to part for man – Moses and Israelites, Joshua, Elijah and Elisha -- but not for Jesus because He created the waters with God and the Holy Spirit at creation. Jesus, by His death, resurrection and ascension, became the bridge between the spiritual water of heaven and the waters of earth for all who come to Him for salvation. This was indicated by His walking on the water. The waters didn’t have to part for Him because He is God and has authority over the heavens and the earth. When Jesus ascended back to the Father, He paved the way for us to also bridge the gap between heaven and earth. He paved the “highway of holiness.” (see Isaiah 35:8) We can now come boldly to God’s throne of grace because of the sacrificial blood of Jesus and the highway of holiness He provided for us.
Jesus Comes to His Own Walking on Water 
      Mark said in 6:48-49, “He went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw Him walking on the water, they thought He was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw Him and was terrified.”

    In the Midst of Great Darkness, There Came a Great Light

     Why did they think Jesus was a ghost? He was full of light (glory) in the midst of this deep darkness. No wonder He looked like a ghost! His disciples didn’t recognize Him at first because of their fear. 
     What is the spiritual message that Jesus is teaching by His walking on water? Water in scripture represents the Anointed Word. In other words, the water of the Word of God anointed by the living water of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Living Anointed Word of God from beginning to end. Jesus wants us to know through this event of Him walking on water that believers too are to walk on the water of the Anointed Word if we are to come to Jesus and bridge the gap between heaven and earth and defeat the kingdom of darkness..
      A few years ago, I was in a church one Sunday and the man of God giving the sermon was preaching on Jesus and Peter walking on water. In his talk, the man of God said, “I’m glad God doesn’t ask me to walk on water. How about you?” As clearly as if God was standing in front of me, the Lord said, “I do ask you to walk on water, Sandy. I ask you to walk on the water of My Word.” Jesus is the Anointed Word who walks according to the Word wholly and perfectly. He wants those who love and follow Him to also walk according to His Word with the help of the Holy Spirit. There are many winds that will come against us: the wind of rejection or unforgiveness, sickness, doubt, unbelief, etc. Jesus is showing His own in this event that they can trust Him when a storm comes against them. Jesus and the mighty wind of the Holy Spirit will save us, sometimes even at the greatest extremity of our trial when our faith is being tested to the max. Instead of preventing the trial, Jesus used the trial of His disciples to increase their faith and trust in Him. Jesus knew right where His disciples were and the circumstance they were in. When His disciples came to the end of their own strength and it seemed that all hope was lost, Jesus came to save them. He did not leave them or forsake them.
      His disciples saw Jesus’ glory and light and then they heard His voice, "It is I," so they recognized Him. Believers must also see Jesus as the full glory of God in a human body, and hear His voice – His Word. It is knowing Jesus in the fullness of His glory and Word that will draw us closer to Him and sustain us through the storms of life.
                            (next week: Peter walks on water)


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