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Faith & Wisdom

Why Did Jesus Walk On Water? Meaning, Lesson and Bible Story

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The phrase “to walk on water” is usually made in reference to an impossible feat or insurmountable task. However, the saying comes from an amazing story many of us learned in Bible study as kids.

The story of Jesus walking on water is just one of the many miracles performed in the scripture. The son of God is known for turning water into wine, exorcising demons from the possessed, healing the sick, and many other deeds that were deemed miracles.

In this article we’ll learn about the story of Jesus walking on water, as well as lessons we can take from this miracle and apply to our lives.

The miracles of Jesus Christ

Jesus never asked for any form of payment for the miracles he demonstrated or the people he healed. In fact, Jesus told his disciples to heal the sick and not ask for payment in return. 

Jesus fed thousands of people with only five loaves of bread and two fish the day before he walked across the Sea of Galilee.

He explained the bread he handed out was not from Moses but from his Father in heaven. He told the hungry people sitting before him on the mountain: 

"I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6:35)

The bread and fish began to circulate amongst the crowd, and there was enough for everyone to eat. After everyone had taken their fill, there was still food leftover.

The day following this miraculous demonstration, Jesus walked upon the surface of the water to the western side of the Sea of Galilee.

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Walking on Water

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As described in Bible verses John 6, Matthew 14, and Mark 6, Jesus walked on water.

Following the feeding of the masses, Jesus sent his disciples on their ship across the sea. However, he remained behind to be alone in deep prayer on the mountainside.

That night, the wind worked hard against the ship's progress to Capernaum. The disciples of Jesus Christ adamantly rowed against the windstorm and relentless waves, which hindered their journey for much of the night. 

While trying to fruitlessly cross the ocean, the disciples suddenly saw Jesus on the surface of the water approaching them. The Gospel tells us this was during the fourth watch of the night, between 3 and 6 a.m. The men aboard the boat were frightened at this unexpected sight.

Upon seeing Jesus walk toward them on the surface of the water, the disciples thought they saw a ghost. Jesus eased their fears.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27)

After hearing Jesus speak, Peter called out to him. He said that if it were truly Jesus upon the water to call out to him and bid Peter walk out onto the ocean with him. He did so, and Peter came out from the ship and walked onto the water. 

Peter’s first steps toward Jesus were confident along the surface of the ocean. However, he suddenly stopped when he began to think about the storm around him and felt afraid. 

The distracted Peter began to doubt his faith and his ability to walk on water.

Jesus reached out, saving Peter before he sank into the ocean. He said that Peter had little faith for doubting him. When the two boarded the ship, the disciples praised Jesus, claiming him to be the son of God.

Once Jesus boarded the ship, the strong wind suddenly came to a stop and they were able to arrive safely at their destination.

At Gennesaret, Jesus healed those who touched the hem of his cloak.

Meaning and lessons from Peter

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The story of Peter walking on water teaches us to have faith in tasks that seem insurmountable. This is true whether it’s something related to faith or just everyday life. If we believe and stay focused, we can accomplish anything. 

The story of Peter walking on water teaches us many lessons. For instance, Peter teaches us to do as Jesus commands. Jesus loves us, and he would never put us in harm's way. We must trust the word of Christ and what he asks of us.

Keeping our faith strong in Christ is another lesson we can take from this Bible story. At times, faith is kept one step at a time. Jesus will never ask more of us than we are capable of giving. However, once our faith waivers, just as Peter's faith in Jesus and being safe had, we begin to sink. 

If Peter's faith remained strong and he concentrated on each individual step instead of the distractions around him, he would not have sunk.

Keeping our faith in focus

Sometimes it’s difficult to see life’s big picture, and this may cause our faith to falter. However, if we take things each day as they arrive, everything becomes more manageable.

As we encounter each day and the new obstacles presented within, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. This is true even when life feels like a storm. If we keep our faith strong, Jesus will never let us fail. He is always with us during the storms of life. 

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