When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, got into a boat, and started across the lake to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The lake became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’ Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land towards which they were going.
The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the lake saw that there had been only one boat there. They also saw that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.’
Here is one of the best known (but least understood) passages of Scripture. It is Jesus walking on the water. How many jokes, challenges, or demeaning comments have you heard about Jesus and this moment of walking on the water?
But his disciples weren’t laughing. They were frightened. A storm has pressed in on them as they are in the open water of Lake Capernaum. They know that they will need to row to shore quickly before their first century fishing boat is swamped and sinks. In the middle of their most fearful moment, Jesus appears to them. Everyone is amazed.
For me, the miracle of walking on the water is not about the laws of physics. It is about the divine ability of Jesus to enter into situations at just the right time. Have you ever been in a difficult situation or maybe you were in a stage of fright when you realized that you sensed the presence of God?
There are some key themes imbedded into the season of Lent. One of them is the ability to fine-tune our personal faith so we can sense the presence of God. We become more aware that God is with us. We begin to see God entering into the most unique life situations. We begin to expand our thinking so our system of belief can lead the way.
Are you in a storm? Are you rowing hard? Have you been amazed to discover that Jesus is right there with you? Look around. God loves to show up in unique ways!