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This Week's Devotion
Family Devotional Week 11: Jesus Walks on the Water
Today’s Reading: John 6:16–21 (NLT)
16 That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17 But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. 18 Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. 19 They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20 but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” 21 Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!
Today’s Big Points
1) They didn’t wait on Jesus.
2) They rowed into a storm.
3) Jesus came to them in the storm
4) Jesus makes a pathway of rescue.
5) Jesus on board was always the destination.
The disciples had just seen Jesus feed thousands of people with five loaves and two fish. I am sure they thought that miracle was the most amazing thing Jesus could do, but they were wrong. That same night, they saw something that was even more incredible: Jesus walking toward them on the waters of the Sea of Galilee in the middle of a storm. So, why did Jesus walk on the water? Did He do it to scare or amaze His disciples? Was it just a cool trick? Was He showing off? Of course not. There are two main reasons why Jesus walked on the water.
He did it as a powerful and visible demonstration of His power over nature. The sea represented the unknown and the uncontrollable. No mortal person could control the sea; in the Old Testament it is clear that only God rules over the seas (Psalm 89:9). But in this story, we are reminded that Jesus is King, and He reigns over the world He created.
Jesus wanted His disciples to fear Him more than they feared a dangerous storm in the middle of the night. As terrified as they were in the storm, they were even more terrified when they saw Jesus walking on the water. They realized that real power—power greater than any storm—was found in Jesus.
Yes, Jesus comes to take away our fears, but He doesn’t just remove them. He replaces them with a healthy fear—a reverence and an awe for Himself. The “good fear” of Jesus can free you and me from all the “bad fears” that want to keep us from living free. We need to recognize that Jesus can and will come to us in the middle of our storm, be near us, and help us with our fears.
Questions to Ponder
What fears are holding you back from living free?
How can you use spiritual disciplines to help you grow in your fear of the Lord?
What is something that scares you? Why?
Choose one reason that Jesus walked on the water to reflect on. Can you think of more reasons other than the two given in the teaching?
How does fear keep people from living free?
How can a healthy fear of God free us?
What was happening in this story before Jesus showed up?
What is one reason that Jesus walked on the water?
How does this story show us Jesus’ power?
Thank You for sending Jesus to show us Your power not only over nature, but over everything. Thank You for creating all things, sustaining all things, and one day making all things new! Help me to be honest about my fears. Help me to talk to my family and friends about those fears. But most of all, help me to bring my fears to You. Thank You that Your Holy Spirit helps me to see Jesus in all His power and strength so that I can rightly fear Him and not live in fear of other things. Remind me that Jesus reigns and rules over all things. In Jesus’ name, Amen.