When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? – John 6:16-30
The Sea of Galilee is 650 feet below sea level, 150 feet deep and surrounded by hills. These features make it subject to sudden windstorms that would cause extremely high waves. Such storms were expected on this lake because it was still frightening.
When Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the water (three and a half miles from shore), he told them not to be afraid. The disciples probably thought they were seeing a ghost but if they thought about all they had already seen Jesus do, they could have accepted this miracle. They were frightened and they didn’t expect Jesus’ help.
Questions to ponder:
- When and why have you ever been afraid for your life or personal safety?
- Under what circumstances are you often unwilling to allow Jesus to enter your problems or troubling situations?
- How will you depend on God the next time a threatening situation confronts you?