Come and See (4)

I love the gospel of John.  Too often, I’ve claimed it to be my favorite gospel.  I say too often because I like things about Matthew.  I like Mark’s servant aspect.  And Luke is great when I’m looking for details.  But John is still my favorite.  This time preaching through John’s version of the gospel has been no less than awesome.  Today, we’ll look at a text in John’s sixth chapter.

When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum.  It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.  The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.  When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened.  But he said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’  Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.  (vs 16-21 ESV)

It’s no coincidence that this text follows John’s version of Jesus feeding the 5000.  He is steadily setting out the evidence that Jesus was more than a Jewish carpenter.  It’s also no coincidence that John records this event happening in the dark.  Have you ever been in the dark places?  Darkness carries a sense of uneasiness, of wondering, and in many cases, despair.  Most of the time, we think of bad things happening in the dark.

In this instance, a storm rose on the sea.  The disciples had reached the middle.  Therefore, there was no going back now.  Things looked grim.  After recognizing their challenge, John records the disciples “…saw Jesus walking…and coming near…and they were frightened.”  Why is it that they were frightened?

I don’t know about you.  But when I’m in the dark places, when chaos is all around and things seem to be hopeless, I want to see Jesus.  But they were frightened.  Let’s not be too quick to judge.  Most people didn’t walk on water.  Most people didn’t just show up in the middle of the “sea.”  But Jesus did!  Jesus did things that no one else could do.  And how could He just walk seemingly without effort?  There was a storm happening!  Jesus turned normal on its head.  Chances are, we’d be deathly afraid too.

May I suggest they were afraid because they recognized divinity?  It’s not unlike Isaiah receiving his commission (Is. 6).  Woe to me.  I am a man of unclean lips.  You see, when you recognize you’re in the presence of God, you should recognize the wonder, power, and awe.  It also makes one recognize their own limits.  I can’t.  But God can.

It’s only then that Jesus reassures.  Do not be afraid.  It’s me.  There’s reassurance that we all need right?  Despite all you see, God is with you.  And catch what John says next.  I love this.  Then they were glad to take him into the boat.  Uh…YEAH!  Hugs.  Kisses.  Grief turned to joy.  Trouble to peace.  Jesus is here!

Maybe you’re going through a storm in your own life right now.  Maybe you know it’s too late to return to “shore”.  That the quicker way now is straight ahead.  But you’ve been on this path for a while.  You’re in the middle of the sea.  And the storm has gotten stronger.  It’s dark.  It’s windy and wet.  And you’d love to just have some peace and quiet.  Look around.  Jesus can walk on water in the storm and bring peace to a dire situation.  Maybe you need to hear, “Don’t be afraid.  It’s me.”  Now rejoice.  And let him in the boat!



5 Responses to “Come and See (4)”

  1. Seeing Jesus walk across the water towards my boat in the midst of a storm would cause shock and awe! But because he has walked across the water for me I am blessed to receive the shock and awe! In those moments in life that I realized I had absolutely no control and asked for his help, he walked across the water for me and I realized giving all control to him was the only way to find the way peace! We talked about miracles at at FCC, giving all control to him and seeing what he does with our situations (we think all is hopeless) is miraculous!!! I MUST trust in him and not myself. I believe he continues to walk across the water when we call on him, he can do all things in our life that we can not do on our own. We have a loving and honest God!

  2. I find it interesting that Jesus “withdrew to a mountain by himself” and that his disciples went ahead and set out on the boat without him. And it goes on to say, that it was dark and yet… Jesus had not joined them… how did they expect Jesus to join them? It’s almost as if they expected him to do some supernatural appearance but when he did they were afraid.

    I don’t know much – but going with your post – I gathered that perhaps sometimes we expect God to take us out of trouble or just to “meet up” with us and where we are in life when truly, we’ve left him behind somewhere… AND YET… he comes to me in the midst of my storm, undeserving me…

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