A Walk on the Water
August 30 - Nº 242 Matthew 14:22-36; Mark 6:45-56; John 6:16-59
After feeding so many people, Jesus retreated to spend time alone with his Father. It was getting dark when the disciples boarded their boat and headed back to Capernaum without him. They were about three and a half miles from the shore when a strong wind began to blow. The waves crashed against the sides of the boat. For hours they tried to row toward shore, but they couldn’t make any progress. They became exhausted! All this time, Jesus knew exactly what his disciples were experiencing. Finally, he walked across the water to join them. When the disciples saw him, they thought he was a ghost. They were terrified! Immediately Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. It’s me!” “If it is really you, Lord,” Peter yelled, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come!” Jesus said. So, Peter climbed out of the boat and started walking toward Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves, he became afraid and began to sink. “Lord, save me!” he cried. Jesus reached out and grabbed his hand. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt?” Together they climbed into the boat. Immediately the wind died down, and miraculously the boat was at the shore. The disciples knelt and worshiped Jesus. They said, “You really are the Son of God!” As soon as the disciples got out of the boat, people recognized them. They ran and told everyone that Jesus had arrived. Many sick people were brought to him for healing. Meanwhile, the crowd Jesus had fed the evening before had spent the night on the other side of the lake. When they woke up, Jesus was still nowhere to be found. So, they headed to Capernaum to look for him. When they finally found him, Jesus challenged them, “You are only looking for me because I can satisfy your needs. I gave you bread last evening, and you want more. But physical food doesn’t last. What you really should be looking for is eternal food that will fill you forever. That is what I want to give you.” They asked, “What do we have to do to get this food?” Jesus answered, “The only thing God wants you to do is believe in me—that I am the One He has sent.” Although he had just fed more than 5,000 people, the Jewish leaders demanded that Jesus give them another sign to prove that he really was from God. “Could you give us manna like Moses gave to the children of Israel?” they wanted to know (see #46 - What Is It?). Jesus replied, “God fed your fathers in the wilderness, but eventually they died. He wants to give you true bread from heaven—bread that will provide eternal life for the whole world.” When the people begged Jesus to give them this heavenly bread he declared, “I am the Bread of Life! He who comes to me will never be hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty! My flesh and my blood will bring you eternal life!” The people were shocked and angry. “Who does he think he is? He is just a man—we know his parents. He didn’t come from heaven!” That day a lot of people stopped following Jesus.
The Israelites were happy to accept the physical solutions Jesus offered—as long as his solutions benefited them (feeding the hungry, healing the sick, calming a storm, etc.). But they refused to accept the spiritual solution he offered for their sin—his death on the cross. Do you understand the real reason Jesus came to earth? Have you accepted what he did on the cross so that you can have eternal life?