Let me pray as we read God's word that we will hear it, and then we'll read it. Father we do thank you for your words, we thank you that it is perfect, that it speaks to us today. And so we pray that as we read it, you will talk to us that you will speak to us and that we will listen. We pray 2 for grind as he comes to speak to us.
We pray that you will calm any nerves that he has. That he will boldly proclaim your words tonight and we pray this in Jesus' name, our men. When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernium. By now it was dark and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough.
When they had rode about 3 or 4 miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat walking on the water and they were frightened. But he said to them, it is I. Don't be afraid. Then they were willing to take him into the boat. And immediately, the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
The next day, the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only 1 boat had been there and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to capernaum in search of Jesus. Great. Good evening.
Yes. You will have to forgive me. I've I've brought my phone up as a stopwatch because I couldn't I bring myself to bring my fitbit and see my heart rate rise and rise. But, no, let's let's pray. Let's let's ask for the Lord's help.
And let let's remember, as as Pete was telling us this morning that that as the word of God is preached, yes. Yes. I'm speaking, but we want to hear the voice of the lord Jesus Christ. Let's pray. Heavenly father, we we do praise you for your word.
Praise now, lord, that that through your spirit, you would he would be with me. He would he'd help me to to be clear, to be bold about this amazing story that and that we, as a as a church family, as brothers and sisters, that we would see the Lord Jesus Christ. That we would look to him in his beauty, in his radiance, and that we would be amazed. Heavenly father pray that you would by your spirit. Help us to see that tonight in your name, amen.
Excellent. Yes. So we are in John 6, we are in the the miracle of walking on water. But this happens on the same day, as as the similar that Tom brought to us last week. Now for us, that happened last week.
But for for these for these people in the story, this is the same day. It's rolled from 1 to the other. So last week, Tom took us through the feeding of the 5000. We we saw how Christ multiplied the the bread and the fish, and that for thousands to eat. Not enough for them to have a nibble, but enough for them to have a fill, not enough only for them to have a fill, but for there to be 12 basketful left.
An amazing miracle that the disciples have just witnessed. They've just seen that. Not only the disciples, but the crowd are there as well. The thousands are there. And I just want to remind us of the crowd's reaction.
Look with me to verse 14. Look and notice of what the crowd say about the Lord Jesus. After the people saw the sign, Jesus performed, they began to say, surely, this is the profit who's to come into the world. The profit That's who the crowd think that Jesus is. The crowd see him as the greater Moses.
Tom talked to us about this last week, The prophet that was promised all the way back in exodus. This is him. Finally, he's come after after thousands of years. This is who our people has spent years and years and years waiting for, and Tom Great gave that amazing phrase that he's come to make Israel great again. That's what the crowd wanted with this profit, and we see that as well in verse 15.
Look with me. Jesus knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force withdrew again to a mountain by himself. They see him as a prophet. They see him as the fulfillment. They want to make him king.
They want him to be the 1 who makes Israel great again. There's no there's no thought in them about asking Christ. Asking the 1 who's just performed this miracle. There's no thought about that. Oh, no.
Let's let's go and take him and let's force him into a campaign. Let's go and overthrow Rome, and he is our leader. Oh, the 1 over there that has no idea about this conversation. Yes. Him.
He is our leader. They see Christ as prophet, the fulfillment of what Moses was. They see Christ as their king, the 1 who's going to overthrow overthrow Rome. Who do you think Jesus is? They see Christ as that, but here, today, Who do you think he is?
And especially that question is especially prominent today in the midst of your suffering. We'll see later about how these disciples are are in the midst of a storm. And for you today, how do you answer that question? Who do you think Jesus is when you are in the midst of a storm? How do you answer the question with your lips?
But how do you answer the question with your actions? How do you answer it when you're suffering? When you're plagued with illness, When you get 1 phone call after the other from the doctor, bad news after bad news. How do you answer it then? When your when your son or daughter comes home from school.
Run upstairs. And you know you know after hearing that that the door's about to slam, and the next thing is them crying. Because they've had another day of unrelenting bullying. How do you answer that question then? When you see your loved ones in that, Who's Jesus then?
When you begin to open up that letter that you've been putting off for days, because you know how it's stamped. You know that that letter is another bill that you can't pay. You have no means by which to pay it, and it's the third time they've contacted you. How do you answer that question then. Who do you think Jesus is?
Now today, we're going to be looking at this passage, and we're going to be thinking about how this passage helps us to answer that question. Who do you think Jesus is in the midst of your storms? And we're going to be going to be thinking about it in 4 key key scenes. Now, yes, this is my first time preaching here. I I I can never promise to do this again, but they all rhyme.
They don't all start with the same letter, but they do all rhyme. So we've got we've got fiercely, we've got all aboard. We've got secondly, all are flawed. We've got Christ as Lord. And the crowd explored.
So let's let's get into it. All aboard. It's not a train. It's a boat Let's read this 16 and 17. This 16.
When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernium. By now, it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. So after this bizarre scene where you've got you've just had the feeding of the 5000, And the crowd want to take Jesus and make him king by force. They want to make Israel great again. Jesus withdraws to the mountainside.
This account here in John's gospel of Christ walking on water It appears in 3 of our 4 gospels. It appears also in Mark 6 and in Matthew 14. John's account is the briefest of all 3. John assumes that his readers will have some knowledge, will have already read Mark and Matthew's accounts. Which partly accounts for why his version is shorter, why some of the details haven't been left in.
But the things that are left in are left in for a very deliberate reason. 1 of the things that both Matthew and Mark tell us, is that the reason that the disciples go into the boat, go down to the lake, is because Christ told them to. So they're going down to the to the lake because they were being obedient to Christ. This explains why the disciples went towards Capernium in the boat And also why in verse 17, John adds Jesus has not yet joined them. They're they're still wondering where is he?
When he come to join us? So all aboard, the disciples are told by Jesus to go down to the lake, to get into a boat and set off a companion, So from the scene of this multiplying miracle, the disciples begin to have a drink of water because your mouth is getting very dry. The disciples begin to walk towards the lake. By this point, you know, you've got the sun has already set. You know, there might be that bit of a glow.
The sun's gone. They're not looking at the sunset anymore. They're heading off down to the shore. They're walking there. You can you can pro probably imagine some of the conversations.
Maybe Matthew turns to Andrew and says, Andrew, how how small was that fish to begin with? It sort of turns around because, yeah, you know, I was that was the type of fish that, you know, you'd be disappointed to catch. That was it was terrible. Yeah. He just multiplied it and multiplied it.
It was amazing. I know you've got the jokester. I don't know who that let's say Matthew again turns around the system. And 1 Philip said to go to the shop. Amazing.
Philip, you donut. Just that conversation as they're going down to the shore, still talking about this miracle, still talking about what Christ has just done. There's a terrific mood about the disciples as a head to the shore. Just witness something miraculous. Maybe conversations about how it was similar to what they'd already seen, how it was similar to Jesus providing wine at canary in in at the wedding.
Possibly. Or perhaps perhaps there's conversations as they're going down to the shore where they turn to 1 another and say, why why did he why did he tell us to go away? That's that's what we wanted. We wanted the crowd. Perhaps, they're having these conversations where they're they're scratching their heads and they turn into 1 another and they're saying, why didn't Jesus let them take him?
And run a campaign with him and to make him the as their king, perhaps their They're wondering to themselves why Jesus wouldn't let them let the crowds make him king. And make Israel great again. Perhaps that's what they're wondering. And perhaps those sorts of conversations reveals who they think Christ is. If if they're thinking about those things, perhaps they they see Christ not as.
Lord, but as a greater resource to do what it is that they want to do. As they're going down to the shore, And again, I ask I ask you tonight. I'll ask myself, who do you say that Christ is? As it slowly gets darker and darker, still 1 answered unanswered question. Where's Jesus?
Why has he left us? Why has he told us to go off? When will he see him again? When will we be able to ask him? These questions that we've got.
At this point, we can imagine perhaps Peter turning around to them and say, and and tying the boat and telling them all to get aboard. And they get in, the sun now set, darkness now on the place. They begin to set sail for capernaum across the lake of Tiberias. As they row away from the location of the miracle, they wonder and question amongst themselves when Christ will join them. Will this seem again?
Will this seem in capernaum? Will this seem sometime later? Are they planning to try to convince him of this huge support to take up a campaign? Do they see Christ as something to use? A resource.
And again, for us, what do you see Christ as? Who do you say that he is? And how does the way that you talk about him with others as you're walking down to the shore? As you're leaving the scene of the miracle. Perhaps this morning, as you left the scene of this morning's service, How does the way that you talk with your brothers and sisters reveal your answer to that question?
Who do you say that Christ is? Or if you're anything like me, this next question is a bit more pertinent. How does your lack of talking about him match up with your answer? I say Christ is lord. I will proclaim it until the day I die.
But how does that match up with my answer? How does that match up with my lack of talking about Christ? Or your lack of talking about Christ Who do you say that Christ is? Next, we'll go to all our flawed And we're looking at this 'eighteen and 'nineteen. Verse 'eighteen, a strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough.
When they had rode about 3 or 4 miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat walking on the water, and they were frightened. So with the disciples in the boat and darkness now over the face of the waters, They've been growing now for a few miles. Unfortunately, for them, they're in a place, they're in the lake in Tiberias, that is known for sudden storms. Unfortunately, for them, that's the place that they're in. Fortunately for us, You're in the company of someone who knows a thing or 2 about storms having been a Walshman all my life.
So you're in safe hands. So with darkness now, over the storm, you've got the captain of the boat. Let's say, James calling on them to row 1 2 3 row, 1 2 3 row. With each pull, it feels like they're making little progress against this storm. With each pull, more water is filling the boat.
With each pull, they themselves are getting wetter and wetter. With each pull Their arms are getting tighter and tighter. It's looking more and more hopeless. 1 2 3 row. You now got 2 of the disciples, 1 at the front, 1 at the back, perhaps, a task with empty in the water, from the boat itself.
Getting rid of it. Mark in his account adds that the disciples are straining at the oars. That's a picture of them leaning down with the heads down just straining, not looking at where they're going, listening to the captain, tell them to row, not worrying about anything else, but pulling and pulling and pulling Do you ever feel like that? Have you ever felt like that in the midst of your storms? With water now squelching up their feet, their arms beginning to ache with pain, darkness all around them.
No hope of it ending anytime soon. Little idea of how long is left. Little idea of when this financial situation is going to finally relieve itself. Little idea of when the the bullying is going to stop. Have ever felt like that?
Straining at the oars. Straining, pulling. Trying your best in the midst of your storm. No end in sight. And at that point, When you felt like that, who do you say that Jesus is?
Whilst they felt like this, whilst they felt hopeless exhausted. They look overboard. See the moon like glimmering. Flexed over the rough seas. Only have the boat rocked back reminding them to keep their head low, to listen to the captain and to strain on 3 or 4 miles go by.
And then it says in first 19. When they had rode about 3 or 4 miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat walking on water and they were frightened. They see a figure coming towards them amidst the storm. Both Matthew and Mark's accounts say that the disciples think it is a ghost. John tells us here, there is Jesus.
But at this time, They just see a figure. You've got the waters crashing all around them. They can see very little, but what they can see is the silhouette of the waves crashing in the distance, and a figure unmoved. Untouched, approaching them in their store. They are frightened.
The Greek word here for frightened could be translated as frightened out of one's wit. Out of one's words. This isn't the type of frightened you get when you walk into the backroom to turn the lights off. And then out pops funny Rory canard to to give you a jump scare. No.
That's instantaneous relief. Might not appreciate it, but this is very different. This is frightened out of your wits. These disciples drenched through are flawed. They are frightened.
What causes you to be frightened like this? Maybe it's that phone call that you're due this Wednesday. Maybe it's the fact that you know that the doctor's calling, and it's more bad news, you know it. Maybe it's it's letting your children go off to school. And spending from 9 till 3 to 4.
Just praying. Just hoping. Texting them. How has it been today? Maybe it's that letter, and you open it up, and it's a summons from Kingston Council.
Unpaid council tax. You know it's coming. Maybe that's what causes you to be frightened. Maybe it's it's the current rise in in energy prices. Current rise in fuel prices, the cost of living soaring, and you've you've no idea.
What you're going to do. Maybe it's the thought of going into your place of work Going into the circles that you that you're in and opening your mouth and talking about what you did on Sunday, Maybe that makes you frightened out of your wits because of what's happened in the past, because of what they'll say. Well, in those situations, how do your words, how do your actions answer the question? Who do you think Jesus is? Now in this situation.
With the darkness around them, we move on to the next section, Christ is lord. Verse 20 to 21. But he said to them, it is I. Don't be afraid. Then they were willing to take him into the boat and immediately, the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
Now, In John's gospel, he makes no further mention about the storm. In both Matthew and Mark's gospel, They both mention about how the storm is stilled. That's not the takeaway that John wants us to have. Jesus does have authority over the storm, We see that in John 1. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.
He was with god in the beginning through him all things were made, all things were made, without him nothing was made that has been made. Christ has authority over the wind, over the seas. But that's not what John wants us to take away from this. But what John says, he makes no further mention of the storm, but what he does say is that Jesus himself came to them. He identified himself.
Jesus says, it is I. Exhausted, terrified with no means within themselves of getting to an end or to putting this storm to an end, and Jesus himself meets them in their storm. But in front of them stands the 1 who just fed thousands. In front of them stands the 1 who created all things. Now it says, in verse 21, then they were willing to take him into the boat.
Of course, they were willing, surely. In front of them stands the 1 who's just fed thousands. They're in the midst of a storm. Of course, they're willing, aren't they? But will you?
You know, will you accept Jesus as your Lord and invite him into the boat with you. Have you done that? Do you know the comfort of his presence in the boat with you amidst your storms. Let's think a little bit more about the 1 who stands at the edge of the boat atop the water. Let's look at the 1 we can invite into the boats of our lives amidst our own suffering.
Look at his looked at his words in verse 20. It is I, don't be afraid. Now the English here is slightly it it misses the gloriousness of this phrase. Because this phrase would be clunky to translate beautifully into English. If if we were going to translate it in a clunky way, but in a beautiful way, it would read a little more like this.
He said to them, I I am, don't be afraid. I am, Jesus assess. Jesus identifies himself with the same name that is revealed to Moses at the Burning Bush. In verse 14, we saw the crowd see Jesus as the prophet, the greater Moses. A resource to use.
They wanted him as. Jesus here is identifying himself, as Yahweh. The covenant keeping God. He identifies himself with God's covenant name. Jesus identifies this terrifying scene with them frightened out of their wits and declares himself to be the steadfast covenant keeping god.
He's just performed a miracle feeding thousands. And here he is with with his disciples, entering their distress to show them who he is. So who do you think he is? The prophet Isaiah declared, the prophet Isaiah writing about him said, the lord himself will give you a sign. The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and we will call him a manual.
Talking about that word a manual, Matthew's Gospel, quoting this adds Emmanuel, which means God with us. In the midst of your storm, your trial Do you know the presence of God with you as he's on the edge of edge of the boat Have you felt the relief of allowing the lord Jesus into your life? The disciples have a manual entering the scene with them. Jesus Christ of Nazareth, enters this scene, declares, I, I am. Do not be afraid, enters the boat with them, he is a manual a manualing with them at that moment.
He is their lord, Christ, the lord. Who do you say that he is? Do you know his presence in your boat, in your life by his spirit. The disciples knew that Jesus was writing this saying. They knew that he was writing, identifying himself as being god.
How? Well, I can I can say to you, it is I? Don't be afraid. If there was a baptistery here, I could make this really funny. We're not gonna open it up.
But I don't think there is a child in Sunday school who has not stood on the precipice of a swimming pool and they thought, I'm gonna try this. Today's the day. It is I. We can all say it. We can all say it.
I've stood on the edge of countless pools. And, you know, it might be the humidity. I thought, you know, it might be the temperature. I'll try it. I'll keep trying it.
I won't. But We've all tried it. We've all stepped in. And it's not to our amazement that we find ourselves a couple of seconds later. Scrambling for air.
We've all felt that. The disciples aren't the disciples here Know that what Jesus is saying is true because he has stood on the water. I was scrambling for air. That's what I'd be doing. This I don't know if any of you have I've seen the show brainiac brainiac signs abuse.
It was a show presented by by Richard Hammond in the sort of early 2 thousands. And it essentially, they did stupid science experiments to get kids interested in science. And this 1 episode, they they took this, Jesus walking on water, And they said, what's the best man can do? What's the best man can do? And John tickle, great name, tries it.
He tries to walk on water, and Much like myself, but with a hairier chest, he falls into the water. And they decide What we'll do, we'll get a load of of cement mixes and some industrial custard. And we're gonna fill the pool with industrial custards. And then what John Tickle can do is he can run across the water. But can he walk?
Well, he can sort of walk, but he has to sort of walk quickly. Where can he stand still no. He he couldn't stand still on the custard because the custard's properties meant that if he stood still, he would begin to sink. Into the custard. Okay.
So the best you're telling me that a man can do is that we can't do water, but we can do custard if you absolutely sprint. So I could sprint around the boat, if the boat is surrounded by custards, industrial sized custards. No. So for these disciples, They know that what Jesus is saying is true because he has stood on the water amidst this store. The disciples knew that he was right.
I want to look now. At Psalm, a hundred and 7. It will appear on the screen. Psalm, a hundred and 7, was 23, to 32. Some went out on the sea in ships.
They were merchants on mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep, for he spoke and stirred up a temper that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths. In the in their peril, their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunkards.
They were at their wit's end. Then they cried out to the lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper. The waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the counsel of the elders. Can you see the echoes of this scene in that psalm? Now we mentioned about how it was dark And it's no it's no coincidence in John. John chooses his words very carefully, very deliberately.
It's no coincidence that in this dark scene amidst this storm, you have the light of the world. Who is the 1 who is willing to step into the boat with them. Amidst your darkness, Have you invited the light of the world into your boat? Now finally, last section is the crowd explored. This is 22 to 24.
The next day, the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake, realized that only 1 boat had been there and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but they had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten. The bread after the Lord had given thanks. Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernium in search of Jesus. So the crowd start their exploration with where has he gone?
He's he's going to be our king. He's going to be the 1 we're going to use. They know that only 1 boat had been at the shore. I'm not gonna speak about this very long because I have absolutely no idea what's going on. They saw the disciples get in in it without Jesus.
They saw the disciples leave, bunch of spies, in the middle of this investigation, so some boats, sort of blown over to the crowd. It's a very curious thing that's happened. They enter the boats and continue their search for Jesus. And I wonder why they were searching for him. I wonder why they'd stuck around.
Are they do they still want to make him their king? Is that is that still why they're there? Do they want questions? How has he multiplied the loaves and the fish? Or is this something more?
And for you tonight, why have you come? Why have you come this scene. Who do you say that Jesus is? Now finally, I want to move on to 3 points of application. The first my first point is to those of us who are looking in to those of you who have not accepted Christ into the boat with you.
Perhaps, for you, you can identify yourself with some of those storms. Perhaps in relation to family, to education, to health, to finance Perhaps there are storms in your life. Perhaps it consumes you. Perhaps for you, You find yourself straining at the o. Now please know that although these storms are serious, although you have storms in your own lives, you have a greater storm.
Because of your sin, because of the things that we have done wrong in our lives, We have put enmity between ourselves and God. And God, who is the creator of this world, has the right to put a punishment on our sin. And the punishment that God says The just God says for sin is that the wages of sin are deaf. So for those of us who have sinned, Death is coming. Eternal separation from our father, our creator.
That is your greatest storm. I know that some of you may have serious, serious storms, but listen to me. That is your greatest storm. That the wages of sin are death. Now to that storm, there is phenomenal news.
God graciously through the Lord Jesus Christ takes your penalty from you on the cross. Jesus Christ has made a way for the darkness of the penalty of sin. The darkness of that storm to be dealt with. Through his cross, he offers you everlasting life. Look at the boats, the sort of curiously drift over to where the crowder?
Is that Christ offering them away a means by which to come to him? Christ through his cross has made a way for you to deal with that greater storm. Christ, the 1 who has authority and power to ensure that these boats are where they are on the morning after this miraculous event. Christ gives you their offer. Those of you who are looking in, Know your greatest storm, know its penalty.
Understand that to you, Christ graciously ensures that the boats travel downstream so that you might follow him. Look to Christ and cry out and accept Christ who takes away your greatest storm. And in the midst of those storms, Who are you going to say that Christ is? To the to the 1 who has accepted Christ into his boat, or her boat. Do you still know Christ in your boat?
To those of you who have known the forgiveness, known the glory of the the light of the world stepping into that darkness. Do you still know that? Perhaps you find yourself frightened to your wits of the circumstances that you are facing. Family health, finances, perhaps you have other storms. In those storms, know that Christ is working all things for your good.
In Matthew and in Mark's account of this miracle, we are told that disciples go into the boat on account of their obedience. Perhaps the storm that you are in, you are there because of your obedience to Christ Jesus tells them to do this, and they do it. In their obedience to Christ, they find themselves in the midst of an almighty storm. Jesus Christ used this storm miraculously in their in their lives. Jesus Christ sends them out across the lake, knowing that there would be a storm, knowing how he would provide for them, knowing how he would work it and use it for their goods.
Jesus Christ knows the storms that you are in. Know the storms that you are in. And he is using each and every 1 of them for your good. Now in in this scene here, the disciples feel instantaneous relief. Rory Canid's gone away from jumpscaring me, Brilliant.
You may not feel instantaneous relief. But know the presence of the lord Jesus Christ in your boat, lean on lean on the fact that he is working all things feel good. Lean on the fact that through all things he is working, you are reminding yourself that Christ is working even in your suffering reminding yourself that he has taken away your greatest storm. But through his cross, through his death and resurrection, He has taken away that greatest storm. And through his ascension, he has made a way for you to ascend to the father.
Not just that it's been dealt with, but it's been dealt with, and you have amazing news awaiting you. Eternal life know that peace in your storms. My final point of application is more aboard. To those of you who can testify about what Christ has done for you, to those of you who can say, yes, I once was in darkness. I once knew my boat being rocked.
I once couldn't see over the sides for water in my eyes. So those of you who know that and then who know the glory of the fact that the lord Jesus Christ came into your boat and who dealt with the storm of the sin in your life. To those of you, how can you answer that question? Who do you think that Jesus is? In your circles that you walk in for more to come aboard, for more to come to know the Lord Jesus Christ.
How can your actions, the things that you that that you do, the things that you don't do, the things that you say, The things that you don't say. How can those things answer that question? Who do you say that Christ? Is, can more come aboard because of your witness, with your words, and with your actions Who do you think Jesus is? Let's pray.
Have any father, we praise you for this scene that by your spirit you have written into your word. We praise you father that through your son, the lord Jesus Christ, you have made a way for our greatest storm to be dealt with. And that our sin does not have a hold on us anymore. Praise you father for this. Lord Jesus Christ.
We thank you for the fact that you walked on those waters amidst that storm, and you walk the roads of Calgary. And you carried your cross and you were nailed and pierced for our transgressions. Heavenly father, we thank you for your amazing plan. Praise you for these things. Not men.