In John 6:1-15 we read about Jesus, the disciples, and a large crowd of hungry people. Jesus provides a meal for all the people even though the only food available was 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. There is so much in this account to study and savor. However, this post is going to be about what happened next. Jesus invited me to linger with Him recently in John 6:16-21. He gently brought to my mind some points that I hadn’t noticed before.
The disciples had finished gathering 12 baskets full of leftover bread and fish pieces. Don’t you wonder what they must have felt like as they pondered the miracle they had just witnessed? They didn’t just witness the miracle but Jesus had allowed them to actually be a part of what happened. Imagine being one of the crew cleaning up after this picnic. Well, we could easily stay here, but let’s move onto the evening and see what happens next.
We know from John 6:15 that Jesus had gone to the mountain alone. We find the disciples at the sea.
Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going. – John 6:16-21
Do you find it perplexing that the disciples would leave without Jesus? John does not tell us but in Matthew 14 and Mark 6 we read that Jesus had instructed the disciples to leave.
Picture yourself at the scene. Would you quickly jump in the boat with the disciples or desire to stay behind with Jesus?
When I imagine myself at the scene, I am reluctant to leave Jesus. I want to stay and wait for Jesus to return or maybe He even invites me to be with Him on the mountain. I certainly don’t think I would be eager to join the group in the boat. Or would I?
What about me now, today? Do I wait or do I rush ahead? I’m sorry to say that there have been many times that I didn’t wait for Jesus.
Back to the disciples
They ventured out onto the sea after dark, rowed for miles and the wind was blowing hard. The disciples struggled in their own strength when they had to make the trip without Jesus. So different from just a few hours earlier when they were basking in the afterglow of a miracle.
Have you had this kind of experience after proceeding without Jesus? I sure have.
But then Jesus
At first, the disciples are fearful but then they see it is indeed Jesus. Jesus has arrived walking on the water. As soon as Jesus entered the boat they were suddenly at their destination. So much here in verses 19-21 to discover and I hope you will spend some time exploring.
I am so glad that Jesus will come get me when I have gone out in my boat without Him. But I don’t want to live like that. I want to be where He is always. Jesus is my destination.
Make it your goal to be with Jesus, stay with Jesus and follow Him. It’s not about you fitting Him into your plan. It is His plan for you to follow Him step by step, moment by moment.