Jesus Walks On Water

Bible Study Lesson 6.08

Jesus Walks on Water Miracle Bible Verses:
And in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were scared, yelling, "It's a ghost!" and they screamed with fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Fear not! Take courage. It is I!" Peter answered him and said, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the waters." Jesus said, "Come!" Matthew 14:25-28.

Previous Bible study lesson: Jesus Feeds 5,000 #6.07.

Preliminary Bible Study Questions:
1) Did Jesus walk on water?
2) Did Peter walk on water?
3) On what sea did this miracle take place?

Studying Jesus' miracles is spiritually rewarding like few other biblical exercises.

Our Savior has power to spare. He occasionally proved that fact by his miracles in the short three years of his public ministry.

Had you been in the disciple's boat on this particular night in history, you would have been terrified, exactly like the disciples.

Are you prepared to meet the Lord, the Master-builder of Creation? The Savior of mankind? Are you sure? Or, will you cower in fear on your appointed day to meet him?

Let's open the imaginations of our hearts to this biblical account of our all-powerful Lord.

Please read at least one of the following accounts about the night when Jesus walks on water (Matthew 14:22-36; Mark 6:45-56; and/or John 6:16-21). Don't miss the excellent video clip of Jesus walking on water at the end of the lesson.

Jesus Walks on Water - Setting

Jesus finished feeding 5,000 men with their families, a miracle that was still fresh in everyone's hearts. Honestly, this next event happened so quickly that the bread and fish were still in the people's stomachs!

After a long day of ministry and miracles Jesus was exhausted. It was time for him to leave the crowds of people and seek some rest and quiet time with his Father.

Before doing so, Jesus sent his disciples on a boat ahead of his next mission, which was across the Sea of Galilee in Gennesaret. The twelve disciples embarked on their five-mile journey after a send-off from their Master (Mark 6:46).

The thousands of people headed to their homes with an energized, renewed faith in God. The miracles of healing and feeding thousands of people could only be performed by a true prophet of God. They realized a very special man was in their midst. Was this man their new earthly king?

Some of the Jews started plotting in an attempt to make him their new king, but Jesus would have none of it. His kingdom was spiritual, not earthly.

The disciples sailed west across the calm sea; but Jesus headed east up into a remote range of hills. The desolate area was perfect for Jesus to commune with his Father. There would be total silence with no distractions or interruptions (Matthew 14:22-23).

Jesus met with his Father in prayer, adoring him, worshiping him, and thanking him. Jesus prayed for his Father's will to be done on earth. Jesus prayed for the strength of the Spirit to guide him. Jesus prayed for the crowds who watched him during the day.

Jesus also spoke an intercessory prayer for his disciples, who would need that very prayer to survive their coming trial.

An early evening of serenity along the secluded shores of Bethsaida, filled with beautiful memories of Jesus' miracles, would soon turn into an early morning of violent weather on the unpredictable Sea of Galilee.

Jesus Walks on Water - Miracle Event

The night had passed quietly and the gentle tropical breeze pushed the disciples' boat across the sea. The time was now around 3 A.M.

The twelve disciples were three to four miles across the Sea of Galilee when strong gales from the west struck them head-on. The waves suddenly crashed into their boat. A couple of the disciples took down their sail. The other disciples kept feverishly rowing into the wind and waves. 

All of the disciples were aboard the boat: Simon Peter, his brother, Andrew; brothers James, John; Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew,the tax collector; doubting Thomas, James, son of Alphaeus, Simon the zealot, Judas, son of James; and also Judas Iscariot, who we often attempt to forget. They were all on mission, and now facing a terrifying trial.

The raging storm was certainly difficult enough to keep them busy fighting for their lives. They didn't need anything else to come along and add to the trauma. But, lo and behold, something very odd struck them with fear.

The scurrying disciples stopped what they were doing to look; but they struggled, because the winds and waves kept pounding them. They saw something approaching them on top of the sea. It was getting closer, actually coming towards them! They were spooked. This was a frightening sight, something like they had never seen.

The disciples started screaming for their lives. They were terrified. "It's a ghost!" someone shouted.

Who or what was it?

It was Jesus! He saw his disciples from the mountaintop. He knew they were struggling against the storm and he wanted to help them (Mark 6:48).

He intended to walk by them, to guide them to the shore, but they freaked out when they saw Jesus walking on the water. Jesus didn't try to scare them, in fact, he was trying to guide and comfort them... all the way to the far shore.

Seeing a person walking on water was too much for a natural person to handle - terror struck them.

Jesus saw the fear in their eyes, so he quickly spoke, "Don't be afraid!" They heard the voice of their Master. It was Jesus!

Jesus added, "Take courage! It is I." The disciple's fear turned into jubilation. Their Master came to save them.

Peter Walks on Water

Simon Peter thought this was the greatest thing he had ever seen. Peter marveled at his Master's ability to walk on water.

Wow! If only he himself could do such a thing...

He reasoned, "If Jesus walks on water, I can also walk on water towards him."

"Lord," Peter said, "If it's really you, tell me to come, walking on the water."

Jesus loved Peter's faithful thought! He accepted the challenge, saying, "Yes, come."

Peter was so impulsive, so bold, so, so... lovable!  

The storm is still raging, with the wind and waves battering the boat, but the courageous Peter jumps over the side of the boat and onto the water. Yes, onto the water, not into the water. The water was like solid earth under the feet and faith of Peter. He believed Jesus could make him walk on the water, and, he was right!

Peter walked on the water!

He was so happy! He was looking his Master straight in the eyes. His mission was to walk across the water to Jesus. All the way to Jesus.

Peter's faith was fully 100% in his Master. He could do anything in the world at this moment! Peter walks on water because his faith was totally in Jesus Christ alone.

Unfortunately, for a fleeting moment, Peter took his eyes of faith off Jesus. He remembered he was human. He remembered there was a storm raging. He remembered that he should be scared of this awful storm which was trying to kill him. Peter lost part of his full amount of faith.

Peter's ability to walk on water immediately disappeared when he partly lost his full amount of faith. He no longer had the spiritual strength to physically walk over the sea. He sank into the dangerous sea, screaming, "Save me, Lord!" before disappearing like Jonah under the billows.

Jesus was there for him, reaching into the sea to grab Peter's arm. He brought him safely to the side of the boat. Jesus and Peter both climbed into the boat.

The disciples were all astounded at what Jesus and Peter both did. Wouldn't you be amazed after watching such a miracle?

Thomas saw this, and he still doubted. Judas Iscariot witnessed this miracle, and look where he ended up. Seeing and believing, whether in person or reading the Bible, doesn't guarantee anything. There is more, so much more.

Jesus Walks on Water - The Boat

Peter and Jesus walked on the water, but Peter ended up sinking. Jesus was there to rescue him and bring him to safety. That's what Jesus does for those who love, follow, and trust him.

As the two climbed into the battered, flailing boat, the winds completely stopped. The waves quickly settled down into a smooth, glassy form. The disciples could hardly process everything that was happening. They were still wrestling with the miracle where Jesus feeds the 5,000! And, now, this! Jesus walks on water! And, Peter, too!

The disciples knew exactly what to do at this point. With one heart the disciples worshiped Jesus, exclaiming, "You really are the Son of God!"

The disciples raised the sail and put away their oars. Their Master was back with them. Everything was good again. The crew safely sailed to the Gennesaret shore. A crowd was already waiting for them, begging Jesus to heal their sick, to which he obliged (Mark 6:53-56).

What was the meaning of Jesus walking on water?

The disciple's hearts were so hardened against God, as ours is from birth, that they couldn't fully accept this miracle (Mark 6:51-52; 7:20-23). Miracles, such as Jesus walking on water, don't always lead to belief, even when witnessed in person. This fact is proven all too well by Judas Iscariot.

The miracles of Jesus were intended to validate Jesus' authority, but only to those who would believe. The greatest of God's miracles will never break through the cold heart of a willing, unrepentant unbeliever (Matthew 11:21-22).

This particular miracle finds Jesus revealing his mastery over the elements that he created. He walked on the water that he formed with the power of his command (Genesis 1:9-10; John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2). The sea, the waves, and the wind are all under his authority. Jesus didn't walk on water for entertainment, Jesus walked on water for validation of his authority.

Jesus performed this miracle, which you've now heard about through his word; and, now he expects you to believe it. Failure to believe is definitely an option for you in God's plan of salvation, but one with horrific results. You should seek to believe in Jesus and his miracles with all your might. 

The moment a person perfectly believes in Jesus by faith, like Peter did for this brief moment, is when he or she also masters the created, physical elements of our universe. Is it in you?  Rid yourself of doubt, which drowns you; and, believe in the One who created it all. Faith in God, through his Son Jesus, must rule your entire life.

Miracles and Belief

There are many secondary lessons to learn in this Jesus walks on water miracle, so let's look at a few.

Place yourself in Peter's position. This conversation with the Savior could take place anywhere. What current life struggle or tragedy are you fighting? What storm is raging in your life? What calamity has struck you or a loved one?

For a moment, remove all the surrounding drama, and listen to only the words of Peter and Jesus.

Jesus ensured, "Don't be afraid. Take courage. I am here!"
Peter replied, "Lord, if it's really you, tell me to come to you."
Jesus affirmed, "Yes, come."
Peter panicked, "Save me, Lord!"
Jesus corrected, "You have so little faith. Why did you doubt me?"

Jesus answers the call of the humble one; that is, the one who attempts to follow him, even when walking on water. A child would try to emulate Jesus, and that's the type of faith he wants from his followers (Matthew 18:2-4).

Peter did everything right until he considered the raging elements around him. He took his eyes off Jesus and almost drowned as a result. Fortunately, he realized his error and called out, "Save me!"

Jesus tells us to be strong, take courage, and know that he is always here for us. The Bible tells us the same command over and over, cover to cover (e.g. Joshua 1:6-7; Psalm 91:5-8; 1 Peter 3:14). When will we start believing him? Jesus turns the timid into mighty soldiers. Are you enlisted in his heavenly army yet?

Peter also sought Jesus' permission to perform the walking on water miracle. This is often overlooked in this passage, but Peter actually modeled prayer for us.

The same goes for us. Those times we're wanting to perform a work for God we must seek his approval. After all, he's our Master, right? That's right, always bring it to God in prayer; and then listen, like Peter, for the divine yes or no response.

Fruit of the Spirit response to Jesus walking on water.

We must see God and his Son, Jesus, as greater than creation. God is bigger than the universe and brighter than the sun. God is faster than lightning and louder than thunder. He is more powerful than a hurricane and hotter than a volcano. Jesus is fiercer than a lion and more gentle than a lamb.

Our God is always greater than any created thing, and always more powerful than any force of nature. Jesus is always better than the best the world has to offer. After all, he created it all by his command. He expects us to respect him that way - as the Creator.

Accepting God as greater than all things will transform your faith, your prayers, and your worship life. Give him your entire life - he is worthy to be honored and praised.

Jesus Walks on Water - Grasp This!

Jesus walks on water to validate his role as the authority over all creation. Even greater than that wonderful fact, God has made him the spiritual authority over salvation (John 5:22-23).

Your first duty as a human is to seek salvation for your soul through God. He will direct your search through his Son, Jesus Christ, and the Bible (John 17:2-3). Seek him with your whole heart.

Most people don't feel the need to reach for Jesus like Peter did, until they find themselves in the midst of a trial.

Their need to be saved has always been there, but, the person is blinded to that most basic human need (2 Corinthians 4:4). Every person must be saved (Isaiah 64:5-7); but sadly, most won't discover salvation (Matthew 22:14).

The storms of life, like the disciples faced, are used greatly by God to open the eyes of those who will come to love him. Has this happened to you? If not, know that storms will soon rage in your life (Mark 9:49; James 1:2-4).

You may as well make the wise decision to prepare yourself in advance. Turn in your love for the world. Lay it down at Jesus' feet (2 Timothy 4:10). Embrace a new love, a new life; that is, eternal life in and with Jesus Christ (Mark 8:34-35).

Jesus walks on water for you and now wants to watch you walk on water to him. Be the miracle! Sinners Prayer.

Join our next Bible study lesson: Jesus Calms the Storm #6.09.

Jesus Walks on Water Bible Study Questions:
1) Seriously, c'mon now, could a Christian really walk on water? How come no one ever does it in today's world? (see Mark 9:23-24).
2) The storm suddenly calmed without a direct command from Jesus. Do you think he calmed the storm in this instance, or was the fact that it calmed when he entered the boat a mere coincidence?
3) The miracle: Did the water hold up Jesus and Peter? Or, did Jesus and Peter walk over the top of the unaffected water? In other words, exactly what material elements were affected by the miracle (i.e. the men, or the water)?
4) How can we "keep our eyes on Jesus" so that we don't lose faith and falter?

Jesus Walks on Water Bible Verses:
Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them." Mark 11:22-24 NHEB.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7.

Then he said to Thomas, "Place your finger here, and see my hands. Place your hand here, and put it into my side. Don't be faithless anymore, but believe!" Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, yet have believed." John 20:27-29 NHEB.

Jesus Walks on Water Quotes:
True, biblical faith is not the outward religiosity many people believe it to be, but submission to God's truth. - Stuart K. Weber.

The faithful believer will live by the truth, although it costs him his life; the faithless will always take the path of least resistance. - Stuart K. Weber.

Jesus Walks on Water Miracle Prayer:
Dear Lord, You are so amazing! You not only made the oceans and seas, but you walk on them, too. We praise your holy name. Trusting in you is the privilege of a lifetime, Lord. Believing in you is so easy, after you reveal yourself to us. Loving you couldn't be more enjoyable, so thank you for loving us first. O Lord, prepare us all for the future trials that await us. Strengthen our hearts and our minds. Show us the deep truths of your word, so we can withstand the temptations of the devil. O God, save us all from the violent storms of life. We adore you and worship you. In Christ's awesome name. Amen.

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