16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. 19 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.
Verses 16-21 tells the story of Jesus walking on water. This event demonstrates Christ’s deity by His power over nature.
Jesus compelled His disciples to leave by boat (Mt 14:22; Mr 6:45) because He knew they were in danger from a mob movement to make Him king of Israel.
Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea,
The disciples went down from the mountain to the sea, near the city of Bethsaida. Jesus moved them away from the crowd of 5,000 men plus women and children because they wanted to kidnap Jesus and make Him king of Israel.
got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum.
The disciples got into the boat on the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Their destination of Capernaum was on the northwest shore of the sea.
And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them.
The disciples were probably expecting Jesus to come to them for the boat ride back to Capernaum. When Jesus did not come, they left without Him.
Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing.
The Sea of Galilee became very rough. Sudden squalls were typical of this sea.
So when they had rowed about three or four miles,
The disciples had difficulty in making headway on the sea. These men were experienced fishermen and had skill in fishing on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus knew that a storm would come while they were at sea.
Why did Jesus deliberately put them in danger? First, He delivered them from a mob of people who did not have the right intentions for their lives. Second, Jesus wanted them to trust Him in adversity. The point is that Jesus would be with them under any circumstance.
they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat;
The disciples did not expect to see Jesus walking on the sea, so they conjured some other theory as to what this was.
and they were afraid.
The disciples thought that they saw a ghost (Mr 6:48-49) when they saw Jesus walking on the water. They thought that their boat would be swamped by the sea, so they were gripped by fear—a fear appropriate for the situation.
God often allows a problem to come to us in our area of strength.
Most of the disciples were experienced sailors on the Sea of Galilee. It was an area of their strength, yet Jesus put them to the test in an area where they felt competent. When we become overconfident in our area of strength, God will test that area as to whether we depend on self or the Lord.