Jesus Walks On Water


‘Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:22-33

The disciples were rowing against the wind in the late evening. They didn’t think that their lives were in danger, they were simply struggling against the wind.

In the early morning from 3:00 am to 6:00 am, the fourth watch, Jesus, walked by them on the Sea of Galilee, Mark 6:45-52 / John 6:16-21. The sea became so rough that some of the disciples were becoming seasick! The disciples were so afraid they thought that their boat would sink and they would be drowned.

They looked out at the sea and guess what they saw? They saw Jesus walking toward them on the water! This was a Divine display of His power over the natural laws.

Now let’s just pause and think about this for a moment. Jesus is walking on water, now I don’t know about you but this is nothing less than a miracle, isn’t it?

You might be thinking I don’t really believe that Jesus actually did walk on the water, but if you believe Genesis 1:1 where the Bible says, that ‘God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them’, then you shouldn’t have any problem believing this miracle.

If God can create the whole world and everything out of nothing, then why can’t the One who created the water in the first place be able to walk on what He created?

Why can’t the One who created the sun, stop the sun from going down as we read about in Joshua 10?

Why can’t the One who created life, bring Lazarus back to life after he had been dead for four days like we read about in John 11?

My point is Jesus walked on water so that means that Jesus is definitely afloat. Now seeing anyone walking on water would be enough to frighten me and it frightened the disciples too, Luke 24:37, because Matthew says, ‘when they saw him, they were terrified and cried out in fear, ‘It’s a ghost!’ And so knowing their fear Jesus reassures them and says, ‘Don’t be afraid, it is I.’

Jesus was passing by them, Mark 6:48, not in the sense of leaving them in their predicament, but in order to present the situation that would truly manifest His deity, but Jesus may have been exercising a sense of humour.

They were struggling against the wind and He with ease was simply walking by on the water. There would come a time, however, when they would have the faith to move mountains, Matthew 17:20.

When Jesus says, ‘it is I’ this could be translated, ‘I am’, Exodus 3:14 / John 8:24 / John 8:28 / John 8:58. Their superstitious nature led them to think that they were seeing a ghost, but Jesus reassured them that it was He. Mark adds the statement here to associate these two miraculous wonders of Jesus.

And so, Jesus is walking on the water and the storm is still raging and according to Matthew, when Peter saw Jesus, he asked, ‘Lord, if it is you’, which could be translated, ‘Since it is You.’

Peter became excited and he said to him, ‘Lord if that’s really you, let me walk to you on the water’. Then Jesus answered Peter and said, ‘Come’. Peter climbed over the side of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus.

This is a big lesson we all need to learn from time to time. When was the last time we stepped out in faith as Peter did? You see it’s easy to stay in the boat where everything is nice and safe. But when was the last time we got out of the boat and started to trust God as Peter did?

This is amazing, isn’t it? Peter didn’t create the water so how did he manage to walk on the water? He had a little of what we all need as Christians, he had one of those things we can’t see, he had faith.

And his faith was great until according to Matthew, he began to look around, he felt the strong winds and saw the waves and he became afraid and started to sink.

He had great faith until he took his eyes off of Jesus, and it was then that he cried out to Jesus for help. I want to raise an important point right here, sometimes in life, we find ourselves drowning in all sorts of things. Adults drown in the waters of bereavement, sorrow and worries.

Adults drown in the waters of debt, family pressures and broken relationships. Children drown in the waters of peer-pressure, unloving parents, and having no good role models in their lives. Children drown in the waters of neglect, abuse and lack of support.

Now all these things can drown anyone and sometimes they do although Peter started off with great faith and even though his faith achieved a great thing like walking on water, he took his eye off the creator of the water and began to drown. The point is this, Jesus didn’t just leave him to drown, He reached out and saved him.

There are times when life is great and we feel like we are walking on water. But there are other times when life isn’t so great and we begin to drown in the waters of life.

But there is hope, you don’t have to drown why? Simply because Jesus has His arm outstretched and He is trying to save you. But you need to take hold of His hand.

As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he was walking on the water, but when he took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. We face many storms in our daily life but if we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can weather the storm, Hebrews 12:2.

When Jesus says to Peter, ‘you of little faith’, ‘why did you doubt?’ I don’t think we’re to believe that Jesus was rebuking Peter, He probably had a smile on His face.

The point is we should do what Peter did, we need to reach out to God in times of need, Matthew 6:30 / Matthew 8:26 / Matthew 16:9. Notice also that Peter must have walked on the water a second time, to get back into the boat and it was then that the wind died down.

They worshipped Him, which tells us they recognised that Jesus was indeed God, John 1:1 / John 1:14. They proclaimed that Jesus truly is the Son of God, Matthew 16:16 / Matthew 26:63 / Mark 1:1 / Luke 4:41 / John 1:49 / John 6:69 / John 11:27 / Acts 8:37 / Romans 1:4.

The miracle of the feeding of the five thousand and the walking on the water proved that Jesus was Deity, John 1:1-3, He had the power to create, Colossians 1:16, He also had the power to control that which He had created, Hebrews 1:3.

It was at this time in the ministry of Jesus that the disciples were beginning to realise who He was. At the time of the feeding of the five thousand, they were slow to understand who He was, Mark 3:5 / Mark 16:14.

They hadn’t understood from the miracle that He was God. Therefore, the statement that their hearts were hardened must be understood in the context of what Jesus wanted them to understand concerning who He really was.

They had accepted Him as a good teacher who could work miracles as Elijah or one of the prophets, but Jesus was more than a prophet, He was the Son of God who had the power of creation, Matthew 16:18-19. Jesus wanted them to realise that He was the Son of God.