Walking on Water
Healing in Gennesaret (14:34-36)
moved with compassion, looked up to heaven, faith, Son of God.
1. e know that Herod later on intended to kill Jesus (Lk 13:31). So it is quite possible that Jesus wanted to
avoid Herod, having heard what Herod thought of Him (see Mt 14:1,2).
2a. hese crowds followed Jesus on foot from the cities into
this deserted place (13). Jesus was moved by the large number of people who
were in great spiritual need and seeking healing (Mk 6:34).
2b. ll that the Lord did for the multitudes,
be it healing or preaching, came from a heart of compassion for the people, not
an egotistic display of power or wisdom.
3. He probably
wanted the disciples to realize their responsibility of ministering to the
people (9:36-10:1). But feeding the great multitude was an impossible task. So
the Lord might have also wanted to train them to turn to the Lord as their
source of power when ministering to the people.
4a. Our Lord
Jesus, who is full of compassion for us, is able to supply us with what we need
even though our resources are limited. He will also enable us to provide for
the needs of others (2Cor 9:10,11; Php
actions—looking up to heaven, thanking God, and breaking the loaves—are normal
for any head of a Jewish household” 6/342. Here the Lord acted as
the head of the household distributing food to his family. His action is also
an acknowledgment of and an expression of thanks to the heavenly Father for His
miracle was so great that the people wanted to make Him king by force (Jn 6:14,15). Such uproar would
hinder His ministry and possibly get attention from the authorities. He wanted
to be alone and pray (Mt 14:13,23; Mk 6:31). The
disciples, who had set their hearts on being the greatest (Mk 9:34), may have
lingered behind since their popularity at this point afforded an opportunity to
6b. When we have accomplished something for God, we should
withdraw from the crowd. Move on to the next task and do not linger in the past
7. The Bible does
not mention the exact purpose of Jesus’ prayer. But in the midst of rising
opposition as well as popularity, and in view of the work He had yet to do,
Jesus withdrew Himself and prayed alone. He did so probably to stay in touch
with God, be focused on His mission, and receive strength from above (cf. Lk 22:43).
The gospels on
occasion record that the Lord would pray alone in a quiet place (Lk 6:12; 5:16, 9:18; Mt 26:36). It is not surprising
because He Himself taught us to pray in our inner room rather than in public
(Mt 6:5,6). By praying alone, He could seek the
Father’s will and receive power to carry out His work.
8. We can see the
struggle and panic of the disciples, including Peter’s (24, 26, 30), in
contrast to the Lord’s calmness and power (25, 27, 32).
9. His ability to
walk on water in the midst of great waves demonstrated His authority over
nature. He calmed the fears of the disciples (27). He commanded Peter, “come.”
He had power over the wind (32).
10a. Peter often
acted as the spokesman for the disciples and was quick to speak and act (e.g.
Mt 16:16; 26:33; Mk 11:21; Jn 13:8,9;
18:10). In this story, his urge to go to Jesus was probably prompted by a
sudden courage when he saw that it was the Lord and that the master was able to
walk on water.
10b. When he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid
(30). When we look away from the power of God’s promise and look instead at the
overwhelming circumstances, we also lose courage and sink into despair. Faith
means not doubting but trusting that the Lord will take care of us as He has
11. 1. He
does not linger to savor His past accomplishments but moves on.
2. He is quick to encourage us and put our
hearts to rest when we are afraid, and He does so gently.
3. He is quick to deliver us when we cry out
to Him in our trouble (Ps 34:17,18).
12. This is the
climax of the story. The Lord Jesus demonstrated that He was the Lord of heaven
and earth and the Messiah. So the disciples came to Him, worshiped Him, and
confessed His lordship. This should also be our response when we experience the
work of Christ in our lives.
13a. He reached
out to all people by travelling from one place to
another. He was accessible to the multitudes. He was the Great Physician.
13b. It is our duty to bring all the people around us to Christ
so that they may be saved. The people of Gennesaret
also showed their humble faith by asking to only touch the hem of the Lord’s
garment. They were all made well because of their faith. We need to have the
faith that if it is His will, God can help us even through the simplest means