Journey Group Devotional – 9/14/15
Connections: Walking on the Water and Loaves
This water-walking sign seems almost out of place. All of John 6 is about bread except for these few verses. This incident separates the sign of feeding 5,000 late one afternoon and Jesus’ explanation of the feeding the following day. So why is there absolutely NO explanation of this sign in John’s Gospel?
Walking on the water is surrounded by the feeding of 5,000. It seems John believed what happened on the water had a connection to the larger event. Somehow, it gives insight into Jesus feeding the crowd. What’s the connection?
Who Is This Sign For?
If the crowd knew about Jesus walking on the water, we are not told. As Jesus arrived with the disciples on the other side, we do see the curiosity of the crowd as to how He got there. They knew they left Him on the mountainside the night before. He doesn’t tell them about walking on the water and neither do His disciples. So who was the sign for?
What we are told indicates this sign was for the disciples (then and now!). Jesus is demonstrating something to the disciples that emphasized the point and purpose of feeding over 5 thousand men. Remember the leftovers after the crowd was fed? When 5 thousand men had eaten all they wanted, Jesus told His disciples,
Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.
Journey Group Members Doing the Will of God
John simply states the disciples got into the boat. Mark and Matthew tell us Jesus told them to get in the boat. If no other passage of Scripture was available, this one alone would teach us obeying the Master is not a guarantee of ease. Jesus knew what He told them to do. I have to believe Jesus knew there would be a storm. But as we’ve seen in previous lessons, everything is made by Him, through Him, and for Him. That would have to include the storm! It was Jesus’ tool to teach the disciples and us. The Apostle Paul didn’t write about the storm, but he did capture the lesson Jesus taught:
We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Jesus is More Than Enough
Twelve baskets of leftovers were gathered. Now, God doesn’t do random. This isn’t coincidence. Didn’t Jesus refer to His disciples as the Twelve in verses 67 and 70?
It’s an object lesson. We learn by what we see. Jesus may have intended several things in this picture, but one must have been something like this:
When you serve Me and you give and give until you are exhausted and believe you have nothing left to give, I will take care of you. I will provide, and your basketful will be more than enough for you. If you pour out your life to give Me (the Bread) to the world, I will be the Bread that satisfies your soul.
Are you in a storm? Heaven’s Bread is in the boat with you. You are on the water together!