“And straightway Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before Him unto the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a spirit;’ and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying,
‘Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.’
And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.’ And He said,
And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, ‘Lord, save me.’ And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him,
‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’
And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying, ‘Of a truth Thou art the Son of God.’ ” Matthew 14:22-33
Some things we immediately see as we read this portion of Scripture:1) Jesus orders, commands, or made the disciples get into a boat to go to the other side; 2) After sending them away He went to a mountain to pray, and He was alone; 3) the boat the disciples are in is in the midst of Sea of Galilee tossed by the waves and the wind; 4) It was the “fourth watch” between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. when Jesus went walking to them on the water; 5) When the disciples saw Jesus they thought Him to be a “spirit”, and were afraid; 6) Jesus says to them, “It’s Me. Don’t be afraid”; 7) Peter asked Jesus to allow him to walk to Him on the water, and Jesus says, “Come”; 8 ) Peter stepped out of the boat onto the water, began walking to Jesus, but when he saw the boisterous wind he began to sink, and cried out to Jesus for help; 9) Jesus reached out His hand to Peter, and “caught him”, then says, “O thou of little faith…”; 10) back in the boat the wind ceased; 11) The disciples worshipped him confessing, “Of a truth Thou art the Son of God.”. Quite a few interesting events are taking place here and some which Matthew does not mention as well; according to the other gospels. I will get to those later
Dealing with the matter of JESUS THE KING we can see by this that He is not only the King of men, but also the King of creation, and all created things. Only the sovereign King and God can walk on water, and command the winds and the waves.
Having fed at least 15,000 people with five loaves of bread and two small fish; Jesus has sent the multitudes away with their stomachs full, their hearts should also be full after having been in the presence of our Lord. Being fully God, yet also fully man, Jesus is probably weary, tired and needing some time of refreshment and rest. He needs to be alone. Yet He know that He is never alone; because the Father is always with Him. The multitude sent away and the disciples rowing across the Sea of Galilee he goes up to a mountain to pray, to speak to His Father.
They are on the East side of the Sea of Galilee, and were rowing toward the West side. Matthew says, “Other side”. Mark writes, “Bethsaida”. John says, “Capernaum” was the destination. Matthew’s destination could mean anywhere on the West side, but I think there is more than that meant. Mark’s destination was more definite, yet speaking of an area on the West side. John speaks of the place where Jesus headquartered His ministry. There is not a contradictory statement here in any of them. First of all they are all three mentioning the West side. Secondly, we do name things like this all the time. For instance; when my wife, our son and I lived in California, and we would come back to Missouri; we were sometimes asked where we were going when we were planning on traveling back home. We would say the Southwest Missouri area; and another time we might tell them Barry County in Missouri; and we might be a little more specific and say Jenkins, Missouri. Now, were we making contradicting statements? NO! Where we were coming was to the Southwest part of Missouri and into Barry County, to the community of Jenkins, Missouri. We have three different testimonies as to their destination, and they are all accurate.
It seems to me, that in this historical event in the life of the disciples and the life of Jesus Christ there is a picture of life, its troubles, and trials and our deliverance.
How many times have we heard the phrase, “Other side” concerning the death of someone we know; whether it be a family member, work associate, or a friend? “He/She has gone to the other side”. Could there be a lesson on life and our eternal destination in this event of history? I think we can see it if we look at the situation, and understand the truth that is presented here.
Capernaum is where the headquarters for Jesus’s ministry is, and possibly in Peter’s home. We can see in Matthew 4:12-16 that Jesus went to Galilee and “dwelt in Capernaum”, and did so that the Scripture might be fulfilled spoken by Isaiah the prophet. Then, in chapter 8 we find Jesus at Peter’s house healing his mother-in-Law (chapter 8:14-15). He dwelt in Capernaum, and when they were there stayed in Peter’s home. Capernaum was home for Jesus on earth. Capernaum, though did not realize who was living among them.
In this act, this miracle of Jesus, He gives us a picture of His coming for those who are His, and our eternal deliverance.
As Christians go through life, it is sometimes likened to the “Sea of life”, and these seas get very troubled at times. Physically our Lord Jesus is not with us and we row, and struggle and grow fearful that the boat we are in is going to fill with these troubled waters and sink, capsize, and we will not make it. Then Jesus comes, our faith grows, and then, in an instant, we find ourselves on the other side. John writes, “Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going”. Where were they going? to the “other side”, writes Matthew. Where were they going? “Bethsaida”, says Mark (Mark 6:45). Where were they going? “Capernaum”, writes John (John 6:17). Where were they going? Headquarters. Home.
When Jesus comes again, as we struggle in this life we will immediately appear with Him in glory, where we shall forever live with Him. No more struggles with life; no more tears, no more fear, no more death or dying…” Home Sweet Home.