What happens when Jesus gets in the boat?
Scripture: "Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself. When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. 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 rowed about three or four 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." John 6:15-21
When I have heard this story and read it before, I always think about Jesus' great power, influence, and authority. It makes me want to jump up and down and point at Him like "Look! Look what my God can do!"
Honestly, it almost feels like Jesus was doing a cool party trick by walking on water.
Most of us don't experience signs and wonders like this on a daily basis. Maybe you have a few miracles or answered prayers that you point to in your life that have become experiential knowledge of Jesus as King. My guess is this was one of those moments for the disciples.
But it didn't just happen to them, and it was a lot more than a cool party trick.
The verse that stopped me in my tracks is this, "Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading."
I feel like I can hear God turning to us asking, "Are you willing?" when I read this verse.
You're already in the boat. You're already on your way, going somewhere. Maybe you were obedient in starting a new job, or maybe you're on your way, building a family. Maybe you're working to provide for your family, or you're serving the local church, or you're pursuing building godly friendships in your life. You're figuratively in the boat, and you're on your way to the destination.
Like the disciples, I think when we are on our way to a destination, we are focused on where we are headed. But here, Jesus reminds us of what is really important.
It's not as much about where you're heading, but it's more about who is with you in the boat.
What Jesus established with the disciples before getting into the boat was that He was a miracle working, walking on water, authority over everything (even the natural world) kind of God. Then, He needed them to be willing to let Him in the boat.
Personally, I worry about my destination a lot. Actually, I worry about it more than almost anything else. I worry about being too late to pursue my calling, I worry about being unequipped, I worry that I'm heading in the wrong direction, and I worry about what will happen on the way.
But when you see Jesus coming, and you are willing to let Him into the boat, you immediately arrive at your destination. That's kind of crazy right?
The miracle that seems odd at first is walking on water, but the one that sticks with me is that "immediate" transportation moment that happens as soon as the disciples are willing to let Him into the boat.
This is how I see these miracles: First, Jesus says "look who I am," when He walks on water and then He says, "are you willing to entrust this to me?" as He gets into the boat.
Often, when Jesus wants to make a move in my life I can be hesitant.
I resonate with the "frightening" experience the disciples had. The power of God is no joke, and when you experience it you know what that healthy fear of God feels like. Remember, He just walked miles on water to get to this boat. And I'm not talking about just surrendering your whole life to God (as if that's an easy task) but I am talking about that boat that you are rowing yourself today.
To get away from the metaphor and to be more practical, what area are you most self-sufficient in? What do you feel like you're an expert at? (Like how disciples who were fishermen might feel about rowing a boat).
It might feel scary to let Jesus be King over that area of your life, because you've got it handled, right?
But when you are willing to surrender that area of your life over to God, that's when you get to the destination immediately, and in a miraculous way.
You could probably get there on your own. But it would take longer, and you wouldn't have Jesus' presence with you. The walking on water moment was a demonstration of His power, and I think He's demonstrating His power to you today, while asking, "are you willing?"
And if you are and you let Him into the boat, then you have the power and presence of Jesus with you on the journey.
-What area of your life are you most hesitant to let Jesus into? Why?
-Do you believe Jesus has authority and power over that area of your life? Is it difficult to believe?
-Write about what a willing spirit looks like. How did it look in the passage and how would it look in your life?
Focus on surrendering one area this week to Jesus. When you are wanting to take back control, remind yourself of His power and authority.
God thank you for sending your Son Jesus who has all authority and power. I believe He has authority over everything, even the areas of my life that I'm tempted to handle on my own. Demonstrate your power to me this week within those areas of my life. Amen.
Worship: Authority by Elevation Worship