The Night Jesus Walked On The Sea

The Night Jesus Walked On The Sea

The Night Jesus Walked On The Sea

By, James L. Thornton


1. Introduction

2. Scripture Matthew 14:25

3. The Storm Happened At Night

4. The Disciples Were In The Will Of God

5. Jesus Came To Them Walking On The Sea

6. Conclusion


1. Introduction:

Paul wrote, “In perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea,.. 2 Corinthians 11:26. Perils, perils, and more perils. In this study, a great disaster threatens Jesus’ chosen disciples. Two of them are the writers of this story, Matthew, and John.

Jesus had sent them off in a boat and they had been overtaken in a violent storm while He is alone on a mountain praying. And they are in imminent danger. The Sea of Galilee is a small inland sea about 6 miles at its widest point and about 13 miles long. It can, and does, lie like a mirror at times, but it also can get whipped into a fury very quickly by storms. It was the scene of some of Jesus’ greatest miracles.

2. Our Scripture Reading:

Matthew 14:25 “And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

Two great storms of wind were encountered by the Twelve, probably within the same year. Both happened by night, and both were exceedingly violent.

In the first storm, the ship was covered with waves and filled almost to sinking, so that the Disciples feared they would perish while Jesus slept in the stern. This storm was equally violent and lasted much longer. It caught the Twelve when they were half-way across and shortly after dark, and lasted until near day-break, “ the fourth watch,” with an unabated force.

To give us some idea of the fury, even at that late hour, they had rowed in all a distance of 3 1/2 miles. Nine hours (John 6:19). During all those weary hours they had done little more than hold their own while pulling against the wind and waves.

In the First Storm, Jesus was with them fast “asleep on a pillow.” That time all they had to do was wake him. And say, “Carest Thou not that we perish?” This time He was absent and not sleeping, but away up among the mountains watching and praying.

3. The Storm Happened At Night:

Three Important Things We want to Discuss:

1. The Storm took place at night

2. The Storm took place while they were doing the Will of God

3. While the Storm raged all progress was halted

The incidents of that fearful night, the watching, the wet, the toiling without results, the fatigue, the terror, and despair, are all described for us. They are the symbolic representations of all the perils and tribulations through which all believers must pass on their way to the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Disciples would never forget the lessons they learned that night. Peter, writing many years later, spoke of, “The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth. (1 Peter 1:7)

Storms at sea can happen at all hours of the day, but trials of faith always happen at night. Were there no darkness there could be no trial. In all such trials, we have the feeling that Jesus is not in the boat while the storm rages by night, and we toil on in rowing unaided, we think, by his Spiritual Presence.

Worst of all, in these trials of faith, even with all our rowing, we make no progress.

The best we can do is to hold our own, to keep off the rocky shore, to keep as best we can the water bailed out of the boat, to keep the bow pointed into the storm.

It is not always true that if we are not going forward we must be going backward.

An axiom for fair weather in a time of storm there is such a thing as standing still, and sometimes that can be in itself a great achievement.

It is no small thing to weather the storm and keep off the rocks, the sands, and the breakers. Don’t vex the soul of one who is already vexed by the storms, by telling wise sayings about progress, and backsliding, in and out, up and down, etc.

Instead of playing the part of a Job’s friend, rather remind him that the great thing for one to do in the storms of life is to endure. To be immovable, hold fast his moral interiority, and his profession of faith. Keep off the dangerous coast of immorality and infidelity.

Tell him, yea assure him, that if he will only pull a little longer, however weary of his arms, Jesus will come and calm the storm and bring them to shore. In the darkest trial of your life, He will come, only hold on.

“The Egyptians pursued the children of Israel. All the Horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen and his army overtook them encamping by the sea.”

A thousand voices cried out in alarm, many wanting to go back.

Moses – “Stand still and see the Salvation of the Lord.” (Exodus 14:13)

Paul – “Having done all to stand, stand therefore …. (Ephesians 6:13-14)

4. The Disciples Were In The Will Of God:

The Disciples were in the will of God when the storm broke upon them. Many times when we are storm-tossed Satan wants us to feel that we are not in God’s will.

Matthew 14:22. And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.

They probably concluded, when the storm came on, that Jesus had made a mistake in sending them across alone. Yet I feel the happy ending taught them.

1. To have firm faith in His wise and loving care

2. Expect a happy ending out of all perplexities

Yea, to glory in tribulation because of the great deliverance that would surely follow. Yet in this storm, they had no expectation that Jesus would come to their rescue. For when He did come they thought He was a Spirit coming over the waters.

5. In The Fourth Watch Jesus Came To Them and Walked On The Sea:

He Saw Them, They Saw Him.

Mark 6:48. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

49. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:

50. For they all saw him and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.

“In the fourth Watch.” About 3 A.M. just before dawn. Why so long? This was the last watch of the night. Some see in this a prophetic view.

1st Watch=the age of Law.

2nd Watch= the age of Prophets.

3rd Watch= the age of Gospel.

4th Watch= the second coming of the Lord, during a time when the Church is buffeted by Anti-Christ spirits. He will be welcomed into His Church; He will bring calm and eternal peace.

His familiar voice, a voice they had heard so often uttering words of cheer and hope.

“Be of good cheer: Is Is I; be not afraid.

6. Conclusion:

Second Miracle That Night — Peter said, “Lord if it be Thou bid me come unto thee on the water. And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.”

That word, ‘Come’ had all the power that created the universe behind it. The invitation would have extended to all the rest of the disciples if only they had responded to it.

We learn what power Jesus can bestow on them that believe in Him, He suspends the laws of nature. Fire wouldn’t burn them, Lions wouldn’t eat them, and a man walks upon water as if it were firm earth. Peter did what no mortal man had ever done before, nor has done since, walked upon the water.

Call it rashness, call it impulsiveness, call it reckless, but when Jesus said come, Peter was quick to obey and he walked, maybe to his surprise on the water.

“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, “Lord, save me.”

The weak flesh got the better of the willing spirit. Fear overcame him, he thought only of the winds and the waves and his faith gave away. How merciful our Lord is too weak believers. As Peter begins to sink cry, Lord, save me, “Jesus reached for him and caught him.”

The third Miracle Of That Night—“The wind ceased.” “Immediately they were on Land.”

Our lesson from this, when the storms come in the night, keep trying your best to at least keep the faith, and Jesus will come. He may seem long in coming, but when He does come He first calms our fears, and then He relieves the fury of the storm.

By, James & Mary Lee Thornton


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