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John’s gospel blog post 37: Water walking

November 4, 2013

“Can you find the faith to believe me.
Oh like walking on water. Heaven knows that I’m willing to try over and over and over” – Mike & the Mechanics – Walking on Water (from the album “The road”)

John 6: 16 – 24

So Jesus does his biggest scale miracle to date and then slips away concerned about his growing popularity. Anyone else would be looking to cash in on the rising tide of fame. What opportunities this would give. A ministry based entirely on the spectacular. A real crowd pleaser. Jesus says no to that.

We are not told where Jesus was, but when the disciples reached the lake to travel on, Jesus was not with them. Interestingly the disciples decide to carry on anyway. An odd way maybe to treat your leader!

Maybe not such a good move to get in the boat at that point. As they row the wind is getting up, and its building to a storm. Then they see Jesus coming. Thing is though he isn’t rowing. They are 3 or 4 miles out in to the lake and he is catching them up. But he’s not in a speed boat. He’s walking!

The disciples we are told are frightened. But it seems they are not frightened by the storm. They are frightened by Jesus. Jesus speaks, is allowed to climb aboard and they reach their destination.

The crowds were aware that the disciples had rowed away but that Jesus was not with them. They assumed Jesus would be at the picnic site, but he too was gone. So they row for Capernaum too. They have got to find him.

John doesn’t make too much comment on this incident – less than some of the other gospel writers. The emphasis is on a rabbi like no other. He can defy the forces of nature and walk upon the waves. No wonder the disciples were frightened of this man. Jesus is not comfortable and domesticated. He has extraordinary powers. Powers that rise above the challenges of everyday life.

Ultimately the disciples welcomed Jesus into the boat. The challenge is whether you and I will allow the water walker to be part of our lives?

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From → Christianity

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