If you are a pastor or lay person who wants to use this to preach in church – that is why I posted it. I don’t care about credit, I only care that God’s word is preached and Christ is glorified. I pray He uses this sermon in a mighty way through you. You have my permission to alter it and use it however God leads you. God bless you in your ministry. You can bookmark this to check out the other free written sermons on my blog.
Jesus walking on the water – John 6:16-21
First let me tell you what this is not:
This is not the story of Jesus sleeping in the boat and there’s a storm, and the disciples are afraid and they wake Jesus up and he calms the storm. Sometimes Jesus calms the storm, but this is not a story of Jesus calming the storm.
This is not the story of the disciples seeing something they can’t make out and Jesus says it’s me and Peter says if it’s you, then call me to come to you and He calls Peter out to walk on the water. Sometimes Jesus calls us to step out of the boat, but this is not the story of Jesus calling us to step out of the boat.
This is not the story of the fishermen finishing cleaning their nets after they’ve been out fishing in the boat and Jesus calling them to leave their boats behind. Sometimes Jesus calls us to leave everything behind, but this is not the story of Jesus calling us to leave our boat.
People who really study the Bible in depth are sometimes bothered trying to make everything fit together. Here’s a story of Jesus walking on the water. Is this the time Jesus commanded Peter to step out of the boat? May be. But sometimes the writers of the Gospel are wanting to stress a point. So instead of trying to draw other boat stories into this one, I wanted to try to figure out what John is saying in this boat story or event.
Here’s what I came up with: This is the story of Jesus coming at a rough time in a miraculous way and coming up along side them, joining them, and getting them through the rough time. This is the story of Christ getting in our boat and giving us peace even in the midst of the storm. – Teaching us that when we have Christ with us, we have everything. Here’s the thing about the disciples at this time: They didn’t have Christ with them yet unless he was physically present with them. It wasn’t until Jesus ascended to the father that He said he would send the Holy Spirit to live in us.
So that, NOW, no matter the circumstances, we who are his disciples now have Christ with us always and he will bring us through it – When we are His and He is ours, we have a song of victory.
Paul Acts 16:25 – But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns. – They’re in prison, yet they have Christ with them, and they’re singing and praying – when you have Christ with you, in you, you have a song in your heart, a song of victory, not a song of defeat, no matter the circumstances. Do we still cry out to Him? Yes. And He lets us know he’s with us and He gets us through whatever it is.
He joins those who put their faith and trust in Him in such a way that no matter what we go through, no matter where we go, no matter the danger, no matter the outcome, no matter the circumstances, we have a song in our heart because we have Him, Jesus, in our heart, within us. Sometimes it’s a song of joy and sometimes it’s a song of lament. But always a song of victory.
The disciples find themselves on the water struggling against the wind and waves, and let’s just put it out there – why are they there? Jesus “made” the disciples get in the boat and he went away by Himself to pray. But He had a plan…. a plan to form their faith.
In their time of need, who was there for them? Jesus. And like He does so many times in our lives, He shows up right on time – never a moment sooner and never late. And He says, “It is I, do not be afraid”. And we know it is Him.
NIBC – At the center of the universe is not just whirling matter, speeding light, dissolving heat, or exploding atoms… but a personal God… a God who loves us and provides for us, and as a potter forms the clay, is always forming us… building us. The last word in creation is not the dim rumbling of a cosmic process… it is a voice saying, “Take heart. It is I, do not be afraid.”
When faith hears that answer in any storm, no matter how great, that faith is fortified against any fear or any foe.
What a faith builder this journey must have been. One day they would look back and see how Jesus met their needs. So that when it comes time for Peter to preach calling Jesus’ murderers to repent, He is not afraid. When John is exiled on the island of Patmos and called up in to write down what he sees and give us Revelation, he can say, “I know God has never let me down, so I can do this.”
Steven Curtis Chapman, Remember to Remember
Remember the way He led us up to the top of the highest mountain
Remember the way He carried us through the deepest dark
Remember His promises for every step on the road ahead
Look where we’ve been and where we’re going
And remember to remember
Today I am wearing a shirt that many people would throw away. These fire department shirts were very new when the Covid hit early last year. but this one looks old because it has bleach spots on it. I also have an orange Samaritan’s Purse shirt from a mission trip that has a white paint roller splat on the back from where JoLynn Sullivan purposely whacked me on the back with a loaded paint roller. In her defense, it may or may not have been a retaliatory strike 😉 I wear both the “paint roller” shirt and the “bleach spot” shirts in public, likely against my dear wife’s wishes. Both shirts are special to me because I know how the imperfections got on the shirts. The bleach spots got on this shirt when I was on an ambulance call. After taking a patient to UPMC Western Maryland I went to a designated area to clean the stretcher. Typically, they graciously provide us with sanitizing wipes, but wipes became scarce last year during Covid, and they provided us with a bottle of bleach water. You can put two and two together…
A bottle of bleach water + a dark shirt + a little carelessness = bleach spots.
I have other shirts and shoes that have special meanings to me. I have two pair of shoes that belonged to a troubled man who tragically died under dire circumstances. I purposely wear a pair of those shoes on mission trips and it makes me think of all the events, both good and bad that led those shoes to be on my feet in Texas or Haiti or wherever I happen to be.
I see the hand of God in all of the clothing, not in the clothes themselves, but in their stories. When I wear them I see purpose, provision, redemption, and hope.
NIBC – In every great crisis of history, when everyone who hopes for a world preserved from destruction is distressed in rowing against the head winds, the sense of God at the center of the universe is a deep necessity.