Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Hamburg
Bible study material on John 6:15-24
Introduction and Background
After Jesus used five loaves of bread and two pieces of fish to miraculously feed some thousands of people, he walked away into the hills alone. Then, Jesus followers went down to the shore of the lake to wait for him, but he did not come back and it was getting dark. The disciples got in their boats and headed across the lake to Capernaum. As a violent storm came up, they tried to row through the storm and managed to get a few miles off, but the sea got more forceful. Jesus then crossed this furious lake on foot! The disciples were about half way across when they saw Jesus, walking on top of the water. The disciples did not know what to do and became terrified.
Jesus as the giver of true peace
Jesus did not accept to be a King to a group of people who were interested only in full stomachs (John 6:15, 26). He dismissed the crowd and sent the disciples across the sea, knowing full well that the storm was coming. As Jesus approached the boat walking on the water, the disciples were terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. But Jesus said, “It is I” or “I AM.” It is the same as saying, “I, Yahweh, am here.” Worthy of note is that the boat miraculously arrived at its destination when the Messiah came on board. Salvation brings peace to the heart- peace with God (Romans 5:1) and the peace of God (Philippians 4:4-7).
The inevitability of going through storms of life (John 6:18-20)
Like the early disciples of Jesus, storms will to all followers of Jesus. Either we are in a storm, coming out of a storm, or in the middle of the eye of a storm and surrounded by a storm, but not seeing it. We all experience rough times, either because of our disobedience or from the misdeeds of others that affect us. Since most of humanity is interconnected by just two or three degrees of separation, all of our actions and decisions affect one another, either for the good or for the bad. But, even in a storm, Jesus takes all those who trust in him to the shore!
Observation and Conclusion
As the disciples faced challenging times, they thought that Jesus had left them. For they encountered a storm and became stressed up. On the one side the disciples might have wondered what had happened since they may have expected greater experience of Jesus’ miracles in the Kingdom. The disciples might have also experienced a mixed-feelings mentally, spiritually, and physically, both in geography (as in elevation) and in the measures of success in life and ministry. It appears that Jesus sent them from the mountain top experience of joy into a major storm – from fame to threat to danger. When their experiences seemed lost, Jesus came into the scene again. All followers of Christ will definitely face fame and joys as well face threats and perils. At the moment that we begin to think that no one cares, then Jesus comes in. For Jesus does not leave or forsake us. Jesus is always there with us (Matthew 28: 20) in the storms of life. And so, Jesus said to the Disciples in John 6:20, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” See also Isa. 43:1-5.
1. Why did Jesus seem to leave the disciples alone when he new that they would go through storms in their journey?
2. Where do you normally turn to when you go through storms of life? To prophets, Mallams or to Traditional priests?
3. When Jesus says “It is I; don’t be afraid.” How far do you agree and apply it to your life?