TEXT: John 6:16-21
16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea,
17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.
18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.
19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid.
20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.
21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 68.
Alexander Maclaren said, “Jesus is on the mountain while we are on the sea. The stable eternity of the Heavens holds Him; we are tossed on the restless mutability of time, over which we toil at His command.”
Our passage today picks up right after the feeding of the 5,000. When Jesus perceives that the Jews are going to try to make Him king by force, He discreetly leaves the scene and goes back up into the mountain with his disciples. At this point, we are told, “When even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea.” The accounts of Matthew and Mark regarding this event inform us that Jesus commanded the disciples to get in a boat and go back across the Sea of Galilee. This is likely because He did not want them to get caught up in the frenzy of the crowd eager to make Jesus king.
So, the disciples get into a ship and begin rowing across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, which, as you recall, was one of the cities that served as something of a headquarters for Jesus. Now, this sea is over six miles wide, and it was set down in a valley with high hills on the west. At night, when the warm air faded away, the cold air would come rushing down into the valley and whip up violent storms on the sea. As the disciples are rowing across the sea, doing what Jesus told them to do, they are facing the wind as one of these storms suddenly whips up, hampering their efforts so much so that, after a few hours of rowing, they are only about halfway across the sea.
The Bible says the disciples were afraid. There is probably nothing more frightening than a sudden storm on a sea and you’re in a little boat. It is probably similar to how you used to be afraid of a sudden storm that caused the wind to blow and the rain to fall hard and you heard the thunder and saw the lightning a possibly a tornado in the distance. The disciples also didn’t understand why Jesus had sent them across the sea at night and not come with them. John notes, “It was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.” After such a great victory with the feeding of the 5,000 and the people realizing who Jesus was, they probably felt that they were at a major turning point in their ministry with Jesus. It must have been a huge let down that night to be struggling across the sea alone without the miracle-working Jesus.
The Bible Exposition Commentary says, “Did Jesus know that a storm was coming? Of course. Then why did He deliberately send His friends into danger? Quite the opposite is true: He was rescuing them from greater danger, the danger of being swept along by a fanatical crowd. But there was another reason for that storm: the Lord has to balance our lives; otherwise we will become proud and then fall. The disciples had experienced great joy in being part of a thrilling miracle. Now they had to face a storm and learn to trust the Lord more. The feeding of the 5,000 was the lesson, but the storm was the examination after the lesson. Sometimes we are caught in a storm because we have disobeyed the Lord. Jonah is a good example. But sometimes the storm comes because we have obeyed the Lord. When that happens, we can be sure that our Saviour will pray for us, come to us, and deliver us.”
People today, even some Christians, struggle with feelings of this nature. They feel, at times, that God has abandoned them, that they are all alone, that they have to handle their problems and issues by themselves without assistance from God or man. You have probably felt something like that in your life.
However, if we look at Mark’s account of this passage, we see the truth that the disciples did not realize at that moment. Mark says, “And [Jesus] saw them toiling in rowing.” From His perch high up on the mountain where He was spending time alone with God, Jesus had not forgotten His disciples. He saw them! He had His eye on them the whole time. They may have felt like they were alone, but they were never really alone. Jesus had their back the whole time.
That is one of the great benefits of having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. As God’s child, you can rest assured that He is looking out for you. He will never abandon you. He will never leave you alone, no matter what your circumstances look like or how you may feel. You will be able to sing a song that has comforted so many down through the years:
Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, one step is all I see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
Are you happy today? Are you free today? Do you have the confidence that God’s eye is on you, that Jesus has your back no matter what you are going through in life? Would you like to have this assurance? If so, here is how you can get it today.
First, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.
The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.
Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.
Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.
And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to GospelLightSociety.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.