John 6:15-21

This morning we’re going to look at an event in history that shows us that Jesus is unsinkable no matter what happens in this life and everything has its place and purpose in our lives. This event is so important that some so-called theologians have tried to explain away this miracle about Jesus’ walking on water. “One theory claims their stones in the water and since Jesus was close to the shore, he was real walking on stones.” This is laughable theory, because miracles, this one in particular, was teaching the disciples a deeper spiritual reality to strengthen their faithJ C Ryle said, “He came to his disciples as they were rowing on the stormy lake, walking on the waters. He walked on them as easily as we walk on dry land….which is contrary to all natural reason was perfectly possible to Christ.” Knowing this truth about Christ gives us no reason to doubt or fear. Isaiah penned these words, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed [discouraged], for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold [maintain, support] you with my righteous right hand.” Isa 41:10


We see this truth in the life of the disciples as they’re faced with yet another challenge in life. A challenge that could cost them their lives. A challenge that will reveal where their faith truly is. These men were in a boat that was being tossed to and fro on the Sea of Galilee. This isn’t the Titanic, or Sig Hansen’s Northwestern, king crab fishing boat on Discovery Channel. This is a boat that is 26.5 feet long, 7.5 feet wide, 4.5 feet high. A boat that is barely keeping these 12 men, of a 15-person vessel, afloat in a storm that possibly could cause the death of these men. This is a major problem, but not uncommon either; never mind the fact that we they have at least 4 veteran fishermen aboard this boat who are fearful for their lives.

Let me ask you a question? Seriously, what would you do if it was you on that boat? Me personally…. I would have been absolutely petrified! I’m not a big fan of water, or boats. We tell ourselves and hear all the time that God has everything under control. But that truth is much easier to swallow, or handle, when things are going well in our lives. Isn’t it? See, when the first sign of disaster or trouble creeps in, our attitudes unusually change. The fear that the Bible tells us to avoid is mixed with our anxiety or dread; it is the feeling of alarm we have when we expect trouble or danger. Followers of Christ are not to live in a state of anxiety or fear of what is before us. When the Bible tells us, “Do not fear,” it means we are not to allow anxiety, or fretfulness to rule our lives; or take root in our hearts.


We are not to be people of panic. We are to be people of faith. This section of Scripture is a story of faith from the beginning to end. In Matthew’s gospel it says Jesus “made” the disciples get into the boat. The word “made” could also be translated “compelled” to compel force, or persuasion, or to constrain. Jesus made them go to the other side for this very reason. “Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.” John 6:15

They wanted an earthly Saviour king, to free them from the bondage of Rome. They were only following Jesus because they wanted a Savior who would supply them with material gifts. They did not want a spiritual Savior who would redeem them from their sins. We know this is true later on in the chapter, “Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” John 6:26-27


So, turn with me to Matthew’s gospel I want us to read his account so we get a more detailed

Description of this event. Matt 14:22-32 This section of Scripture is a story of faith from the beginning to end. Specifically in Matthew’s gospel, that when we take our eyes off of Christ, even for a split-second, we have a tendency to making a mess out of our present situation.


Whether it would be: 

our marriages

our children

our work places

our church

our family

our interactions with others

our personal walk with the Lord


What’s amazing is that God will always use these times … To refine, polish, and mould us into the image of the Son. To strengthen our faith more and more in Him. Why? So, we can face the next storm in our lives with confidence in the Great Shepherd who purchased us with that blood. He refines us so that we can say “I fear nothing that is before me, for my strength comes from the Lord”. Listen to what Jesus said to comfort His distressed disciples. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27. This was a common form of benediction among the Jews. Jesus gives them a supplication of the blessings of peace and happiness. A common benediction comes from the book of Numbers. “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” Num 6:24-26. However, this promise “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you”, was much more than a mere form, or an empty wish. Jesus was promising the believers they would receive the Holy Spirit who would guide and comfort them in the storms of life.


We are all faced with storms, every single one of us: Some are out of obedience. (Abraham, Joseph, Job, Hosea, Paul). Some are out of disobedience. (Jonah, the nation Israel, the disciples). Some are out of bad choices. (David, Solomon, Jacob, Peter)





Think back to this past week, month or year! What has worry accomplished in your life as you face a trial or situation? Nothing, other than doubt which diminishes our faith.  Our fear and stress level rises for no reason that can cause serious health issues. It produces panic which contributes to loss of sleep and rest, that we need desperately. We become irritable and short tempered with loved one’s and strangers. We find it difficult to concentrate on the simplest of tasks daily, it consumes all our attention. We lose control and feel like a helpless child. It ultimately leads us into sin. Paul told us, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7


Why is what Paul writes here so important to

obey and take to heart as we face the storms of life? 

Because the flesh is weak and prone to doubt, fear and worry. Scriptures reveal that anxiety weighs a person down. “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Prov 17:22

Sadly though, in our human nature we want to borrow worry. As Jesus said, "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” Matt 6:34


This happens because all we see is the impossible again and we forget that… “But With God all things are things are possible as Jesus said Matt 19:26


We become like Peter in Matthew’s gospel! 

Peter did you forget that you were walking on water.

Peter did you forget about the impossible act I did earlier with the 5 loafs and 2 fishes.

Peter did you forget the miracles I performed during our journey so far.

Peter did you forget the comfort that you find in my voice.

Peter did you forget who I AM?

Peter did you forget that I sought you out on the shore that day.


We’re no different than Peter at times, we just make more cleaver excuses to justify the reason for our actions. We all have times like these! Just replace Peter’s name for your own! The only way to find victory in our storms is to be completely and dependent upon the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to…. stop worrying, and start trusting in the Living Saviour who conquered all things on the cross for us. He is the one who keeps us and sustains us as Jude wrote, “Now to Him (Jesus) who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever.” Amen.” Jude 24-25. As Jesus says here in our text "It is I; do not be afraid." (v20)




At that moment their eyes were opened and their hearts were softened as they realized that Jesus was the Son of God! See according to Marks account when Jesus feed the 5000, the disciples didn’t understand, they were confused. Sort of like a deer in the headlights! “For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.” Mark 6:52. This means “Their “mind” was dull to perceive it. This does not mean that they were “opposed” to Jesus, or that they had what we designate “hardness of heart,” but simply that they were slow to perceive His power.” They faced a trial; in the end they were amazed and their eyes were opened a little bit more. “And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matt 14:33


J C Ryle wrote, “Trail, we must distinctly understand, is part of the diet which all true Christians must expect. It is one of the means by which their grace is proved, and by which they find out what there is in themselves…. We no not naturally like this. We would rather cross the lake with calm weather and favourable winds, with Christ always by our side, and the sun shining down on our faces. But it may be not. It is not in this way that God’s children are made ‘partakers of holiness’.”

The Hebrew writer affirms this. “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.” Heb 12:7-10


In Matthew’s gospel it says after Jesus calmed the storm and they reached the shore in the exact place they were suppose to be….. They never discuss among themselves to what just happened. They didn’t ask Peter to give a testimony or explanation. They didn’t even question Jesus about what He just did. They stood amazed in the presence of God. “And they were utterly astounded,” Mark 6:51. With the exception of John’s account, Matthew’s gospel say they fell

down and worshipped Jesus! Matt 14:33 says, “And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”


The word Worship means to: prostrate oneself (reverence and adoration). It also means to fawn or crouchThis is the same meaning to what Paul wrote about to the church at Philippi. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:9-11

They worshipped Him for who He was, the Creator of all things and the Saviour who came to save the lost. The only One who has the power to make things calm again “the stormed ceased” What I find amazing is that this isn’t the first time this has happened. ”And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” Matt 8:23-27

The One who has the sovereign power over climate, weather, the earth, moon and stars, the complete universe. Is the same One who can make and settle your heart to handle the storm that is in your life today, and tomorrow and the next. See, the only way we can find peace in the midst of battle, or conflict, is to keep our eyes focused on Him with all our:




Private and public lives

Prayer life

Passion and desires

Troubles and pains

These are all acts of worship as we love and

serve Him in the Christian life.


As Peter said, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 

1 Peter 5:6-7


Peter’s letter makes me think! Did Peter, have this storm in mind when he penned those words of comfort to the brother and sisters who were faced with persecution and trials of life as believers.

They were able to see more clearly when Jesus said, “It is I; do not be afraid.” (v20) Their attitude of fear, some almost paralyzed with fear found a calm spirit when they heard the voice of Jesus in the stormTheir demeanour and attitude made a 180-degree change as we read in Matthew’s gospel Peter asked to come to Him. When we are able to see through our doubt and fear, we will worship Him the way we were created to worship. Why? Because He is more important than any situation I can face, on a day to day basic... Jesus is the reason we can stand strong and press on. Jesus is the reason we can move forward through the storms of life. Jesus is the reason we can forgive one another because He has forgiven you. Jesus is the reason we can be secure in our relationship with Him. Jesus is the reason we can find peace in the midst of trouble. We all have and will face storms in this life, but as J C Ryle said, “For the Christian, trials are not meaningless acts of suffering. Instead, they are providential instruments of grace.”


So let me ask you! How’s your faith this morning? What has the Lord been teaching this week, this morning, about Him and His relentless pursuit of you? How are you handling your storms? The only way to find victory is KEEPING our eyes fixed upon Him and His sustaining grace over our lives. Sounds so simple! But hard to do isn’t it? Remember, He, will always give us the right amount of strength, and the right amount of faith, to see us through our present situation. As Solomon said “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths.” 

Prov 3:5-6


The late great George Mueller said "The only way to learn strong faith is to endure great trials."

We must empty ourselves and depend upon Him and only

Him to see us through each day.

Job did it

The prophets did it

Peter did it

The early church did it

Missionaries around the world are doing it

You, and I, can do it too


Dear church family this is the same peace He gives to us…. If you're in the middle of one of life's storms, open your eyes to see what God’s doing. He is faithful, and He knows that if you turn to Him and trust in Him, you’ll be able to make it to the other side of the lake. It could be that the thing that's scaring you the most is the very thing He wants to use to rescue you, and mature you from. And so this morning, let Him say to you what He said to His disciples, “It’s Me. Do not be afraid.”


The Psalmist said, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 

Psalm 91:1-2


Grab His hand and see if it doesn't immediately land where you need to go. God’s presence is all that we need, and we should expect it and embrace it; but let’s not only look for it in ways that we’d automatically expect. Jesus displays here that He is….All-Knowing, All-Present, All- Powerful One,… and without Him, we could never handle the next storm that is coming. This section of Scripture is a story of faith from the beginning to end. One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, "Jump! I'll catch you." He knew the boy had to jump to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: "Jump! I will catch you." But the boy protested, "Daddy, I can't see you." The father replied, "But I can see you and that's all that matters."

“It’s Me. Do not be afraid.”


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