< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Jesus Walks on Water - Part 2

Monday, December 08, 2008

Jesus Walks on Water - Part 2

John 6:18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough.

The Sea of Galilee is 650 feet below sea level. It’s 150 feet deep and surrounded by hills. All of this together makes it subject to sudden windstorms that cause extremely high waves. These storms, even though they happen frequently, were always scary.

Nature can be very scary! Think of the tsunami and earthquakes. The disciples would have been very afraid. They had no control over the sea! Water would have been splashing over the edges of their boat. They were 3 and half miles out, which was about dead center, so there was no going back. They were all rowing with all their might.

The disciples straining against the oars can represent Christians today trying to do what is right. They were out there because Jesus had sent them. Yet, they still ran into trouble. A couple things to learn from this – Christians are not promised a life without trials. And we can almost always expect them after a mountain top experience.

The disciples had just witnessed a huge miracle. They were probably ecstatic! They had chosen the right guy to follow! They were doing exactly what Christ told them to: And then Boom! Big trial!

It will happen! Sometimes because Satan will go after you if he sees you victorious, sometimes it might be God humbling you, “Hey, don’t let all that go to your head!” “Let me bring you back down to earth where you belong!” sometimes you’re just on a spiritual high and you let your guard down. Maybe even sometimes God is doing a little test on your faith – not that He needs to know how much you have, but to show you how much you have!

Think about things in your life that represents the wind; the resistance to do what is right and good. Most likely they are things that seem out of our control: fatigue, fear of the unknown, non-Christians who resent us for being Christians, too full schedules…

John 6:19 When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified.

They thought they had seen a ghost! It’s amazing that some people are more ready to believe in ghosts then the Creator! The disciples were in the dark, without Christ. First they were afraid of the winds and waves, and then they thought they had a ghost to deal with! At least the storm was natural! One thing you can take from this is: our real distresses are often increased by our imaginary ones.

So Jesus had been up on the mountain praying. For a long time – from sundown until between 3 and 6 a.m. Anyone reading this ever pray that long? He saw the disciples. One thing about being God – you can see in the dark – not sure if you knew that!

We can use this picture for today. In the story Jesus is praying on the mountain. Today He is in heaven praying. In the story He sees the disciples struggling and needing help. Today He sees us struggling and needing help. In the story did He come right away? No, they managed to get half way across the lake before He came. (after 8 hours) But, we know He came at exactly the right minute. He is the on time God. Many times when people have gone through bad times you’ll here them say, “You know, I just don’t think I would have lasted one second longer! God showed up in the nick of time!”

God watches us. When we’re alone, when we struggle, when we run out of support, when we don’t know what to do. When we row and row and row and just don’t seem to be getting anywhere. He has His eyes on us! We may not be paying attention to Him, but He’s paying attention to us! Later in this book you learn Jesus considers us His love gifts from God! Don’t you think He’s going to take care of those gifts? We are never out of His thoughts and He’s going to bring every one of His gifts home to His father.

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