Jesus Walks on the Sea

Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.

16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. 19 So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. 20 But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going. — John 6:15-21.

Jesus resists the popular acclaim and goes to a mountain to be alone. His disciples get into a boat and start rowing to the other side of the lake, towards Capernaum. It is night and a storm arises while they are three or four miles out. Jesus walks to them on the water and assures them of who He is. When Jesus enters the boat, it immediately reaches its destination.


“Capernaum” (v.17). — Jesus’ headquarters during His Galilean ministry because of the unbelief in His hometown of Nazareth (cf. Luke 4:28-29).

“they had rowed about three or four miles” (v.19) — They were approximately halfway across the lake when Jesus came walking to them on the water. Matthew expands this narrative to include Peter walking to Him on the water.

“they were afraid” — These disciples were still valuing Jesus by earthly standards. The reason for the disciples’ fear is expressed in Mark 6:49.

“It is I” (v.20). — Literally (egō eimi) “I Am”. Jesus is the visible “I Am,” the full self-revelation of God, the incarnate Logos (word) of God, the true and only Son.

“immediately the boat was at the land where they were going” (v.21). — The disciples then, knowing that it is the Savior, want to receive him into their boat. This is all that matters in the story. The story is exclusively about the disciples, upon learning that it was the Lord, wanted Jesus with them.

Immediately Jesus boards the boat, which was halfway across the lake, it reaches its destination on the other shore! [The Sea of Galilee is 8 miles across; the disciples were 3-4 miles across when Jesus boards the boat.]

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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