Friday, October 26, 2018

Why Did Jesus Walk on the Water?

Why Did Jesus Walk on the Water?

John 6:16-21
Introduction: The Israelites are living in the promise land but are suppressed under Roman Law. It is the time of their great celebration, the Passover, and Jesus fed over five thousand people. They are at the point of wanting to take Jesus by force to make Him king. But, because it was not His time to be made King, He withdrew to the mountain to be alone. He is not the King of this world but of the kingdom that is to come.

The children of Israel were freed from the bondage of Egypt through Moses and now are desiring to be freed again from Roman rule. Moses is seen as a unique and marvelous picture of Jesus in many ways. In his final speeches to the Israelite people, he gives a Messianic prophecy saying to them: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him” (Deuteronomy 18:15).

John 6:16 says that when evening came, the disciples went down to the sea, to cross over to Capernaum. The waves were rough and rowing became extremely difficult. After rowing three or four miles out into the sea, Mark 6:49 says that they were frightened thinking they were seeing a ghost. Jesus said, “It is I; do not be afraid” and they immediately helped Him into the boat and were at the shore.  Interesting! When Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt to the Red Sea, they, too, were afraid. Moses said to them, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again” (Exodus 14:13).

Why specifically did Jesus walk on the water? John wanted the reader to see that Jesus is God, the promised Messiah, the One who would fulfill the prophecy of the coming King of glory.


Lord, all praise to You, the King eternal.

Friday, October 19, 2018

More Than Bread and Fish

More Than Bread and Fish
John 6:1-21

The historical setting of John Chapter 6 is during the time of the Passover. The Passover is the remembrance and celebration of the deliverance of the Jews from the bondage of slavery under Egyptian rule through Moses (Exodus 12).

This is a crucial time in the lives of the Jews and John wants the reader to understand the atmosphere and mood of the people. The crowds are huge during this time and much excitement fills the air. It would be somewhat like our 4th of July celebration with fireworks, flag waving, picnics, and patriotic music. The Israelites, being under Roman Law, are again waiting for deliverance through the One prophesied to come.

An important passage to note is John 5:46 where Jesus says, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.” John is trying to link Moses and Jesus together as the story of John 6 unfolds. The Jews knew the story of Moses and the exodus of their forefathers from Egypt. Jesus, being God, knew that Moses was their hero whom they looked to for hope. Because Jesus is proclaiming Himself to be equal with God, some are seeking to kill Him. He retreats to the other side of the Sea of Galilee where a large crowd follows Him for they have seen the miracles He was doing on the sick (6:2).

The crowd has gathered and the account of the feeding of the five thousand takes place. John’s purpose for giving this information was because of the miracles, or signs that were being carried out. What do signs do? They point us to something specific and in this narrative, they are pointing to Jesus Himself as Prophet, Priest, and King. This connects Moses, the Old Testament prophet, and the word picture of the coming Messiah, Jesus, together. Jesus is not coming to deliver them from Roman rule but to deliver them from the bondage of sin and for the Kingdom to come.


Lord, thank You for the miracle of Redemption.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Moses, an Old Testament Picture of Jesus

Moses, an Old Testament Picture of Jesus
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.

There are a number of ways in which Moses was an Old Testament picture of Jesus. Moses, with great power, led the children of Israel out of Egypt and out of physical bondage. Moses stood before Pharaoh and said, “Let my people go” (Exodus 5:21). Jesus, with greater power, leads people out of spiritual oppression and slavery to sin.  Jesus came “to proclaim liberty to the captives. . . to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18).

Several of the miracles of Moses is like Jesus’ miracles, most notably, the provision of bread in the wilderness which was called, Manna (Exodus 16:32-35). This miracle is comparable to Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:1-13). “When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, ‘This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!’” (John 6:14).

Moses was like Jesus in that he would intercede for his people. Exodus 32:11-13, 30-32 tells us that when the Israelites sinned, Moses was ready to plead to God and ask for forgiveness for their sins. Moses’ intercession was only temporary. Our Lord’s intercession is everlasting. “. . . But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (I John 2:1). Jesus is now “at the right hand of God,...interceding for us” (Romans 8:34).  Jesus “always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Moses was like Jesus in that he held intimate conversations with God.  “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11). Jesus had a relationship with the Father which was beyond compare. Matthew 11:27 says, “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son.”

Lord, thank You for the Messianic Prophecy of Jesus through Moses.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Where is Thy God?

Where is Thy God?
Despondency and Depression are Tumultuous Emotions

Psalm 42:1-3 KJV

As the hart (deer) panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?  My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?  

There is a conflict that runs between our faith (spiritual realities) and sight (our human emotions). As we read Psalm 42, notice the psalmist struggling with some depression and the feelings of isolation from God. These emotions may have come from an absence of fellowship or discouragement from other believers, or by relentless unbelievers. Whatever the cause, these sentiments are real and recorded for our benefit. 

Some have assigned David to this psalm with his heart longing for the worship he knew in Jerusalem. He has left his home, the throne on which he ruled and now is fleeing from his son, Absalom, in great despair. Eating nothing because of his extreme grief and the bitter words expressed, his heart is overwhelmed. The Psalmist feels it is important to be honest with God about his doubts and struggles with a heavy outpouring from his heart. The writer is responding to the oceans of trials in which he seems to be drowning in and alleges that God is ultimately responsible for each turmoil.

Have you wrestled with the emotions expressed in this psalm? Has your soul been “cast down,” within you? Are you facing challenges at this time and want to rely on God to work in your life? Psalm 42 reveals the character of God and ways He will help you to “walk by faith,” when you are downcast, in despair and depressed. Remind yourself, “Hope in God, He is your help!” Give thanks to God for His saving power and His mighty hand working in and through your life. He is the Lord God of all Truth (Psalm 43:11). You can trust Him.

Lord, thank You for Your presences in my life.