The Gospel reading for today, starts just after Jesus has taken 5 loaves and 2 fish, and fed 5000 (well probably more than that, but that is a conversation for another day). Jesus has gone of by himself to pray and when evening comes the disciples get into the boat and head off to Capernaum. It reads like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster, the wind was blowing strong, and the lake became rough, they had rowed for 3 or 4 miles when they saw Jesus walking on water, coming towards them. Let us just stop there for a moment, can you just imagine what they must have been thinking? We read that they were terrified, I am sure there was a whole lot of other thoughts and emotions going on too!
When Jesus speaks and says ‘it is I, do not be afraid’ they immediately wanted to get him into the boat, when they did so immediately the boat landed on the other side (we read in Mark 6, that Jesus had intended to walk right past) I wonder how we can relate this experience in our own lives, what difference does it make when we invite Jesus in?
The following day when the crowds realise that although the disciples had gone in the only boat, yet neither Jesus nor His disciples where there, they set off across the lake in search of them. It is only in Johns Gospel that we read about the crowds going in search of Him across the lake. When they reach the other side and find Him, they immediately ask when He came there. Jesus does not answer them, He instead calls them out on their motives for being there. They have come to be fed physically, but Jesus is offering much more than that. As we read on, we have the first of Jesus’s 7 I am statements ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty’ The amazing thing is, the invitation that Jesus held out to those crowds all those years ago, is open for us too, all we need to do is say yes!
There are 3 accounts in the Bible of Jesus walking on water, Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-56 and today’s reading from John. This is significant as each of these are first-hand accounts, they each hold similarities but each one gives a slightly different viewpoint. If you have time today try reading all 3 of them and see what stands out to you, do you notice any differences? Where would you be in the story? Would you invite Jesus into the boat or maybe step out onto the water to meet Him?