Lifelines: The Storm of Direction
Still water is great for a sheep. It doesn’t make a skillful sailor! Like sailors, we need the skills to sail safely on stormy seas. Been in one of life’s storms lately? We can learn a great deal from the storms in John 6!
Lifelines: Know Your Course
Many people look at John 6 and only see the three most obvious things:
- Jesus fed 5,000 men with a little boy’s lunch
- Jesus walked on the water
- Jesus explained the miraculous feeding after the storm
We are so familiar with the obvious storm we often overlook the others. But all the storms in this chapter teach us how to land safely on the other side. The first storm happened while everyone was still on land. That storm was endured by Jesus alone. What He did is something we often fail to do.
Lifelines: Know Your Commander
The storm is not obvious. However, it is very real. Notice in the text:
Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, ‘This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.’ So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.
Do you see it? Notice what the crowd wanted. How did Jesus respond to it? What’s the problem? Jesus really is the King of kings. Now, don’t be too quick to blame the people for what they thought. It was not random; it had reason behind it.
These people saw that Jesus was the Prophet predicted in Deuteronomy 18:15 –
The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen.
This is what we see in verses 14-15 of John 6: They said, ‘This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!’ Perceiving then that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king Jesus withdrew.
Jesus was in fact the predicted Prophet like Moses. This could well be why (verse 3) Jesus went up on a mountain for this sign, the same way Moses went up on the mountain. But again, the crowd perceives a truth about Jesus but does not really understand. Later in the chapter, Jesus connects Himself with Moses. And while He is like Moses, He is so much more.
To Jesus, the crowd’s desire was a temptation. That’s the storm! I called it a storm of direction. You and I often face this same storm. Who or what will we follow? If Jesus had let them proclaim Him King at this point it would have been a catastrophe. Here are just two reasons:
- He would have been King without going to the cross (see Philippians 2)
- Without the cross, our salvation could not happen
Lifelines: Making the Godly Choice
The next time the world sees Jesus it will be as He really is: King of kings, and Lord of lords. But in John 6, Jesus chose the mission His Father gave Him, not a shortcut. And though temptations often seem like shortcuts to the real deal, they never work out that way.
Will you face a storm of direction? Yes. There is often a crowd involved. Do you follow them and their wishes? Your lifeline in that coming storm is to remember you are on mission (just like Jesus). Choosing the course your Commander has laid out may be difficult and challenging. But following it will:
- Land you safe on the other side
- Make you a shining example of His glory
- Make you a light others can follow
Soli Deo Gloria!