It was the time of the Passover — a year before Christ’s crucifixion. The disciples had just completed a tour of Galilee and John the Baptist had just been killed. The end was rapidly approaching and Jesus was teaching his disciples, preparing them for the events ahead.
They still had much to learn. He chose a private place on the northeastern side of the Sea of Galilee, but when the people saw them departing, they determined their destination and ran around the northern edge of the sea to meet them.
Although it was supposed to be a time of rest and instructions for the disciples, when Jesus saw the crowd of people, He “was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.”
In the approaching evening, Jesus’ disciples became concerned about the situation and suggested the people be sent away, “that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat” (Mark 6:37).
But Jesus had another plan. “Give ye them to eat,” He said. They were perplexed. What were they to do? How were they going to feed such a crowd? They calculated how much it would cost and there was no way they could buy that much. They did not recognize their resources lay in the power of Christ.
How little did the disciples know that they were going to have a teaching experience and a journey in faith. With five loaves and two fishes from a lad’s lunch, Jesus blessed the food and provided for more than 5,000 people. Mark tells us: “And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes” (Mark 6:43).
This miracle further convinced the people Jesus had come to be their king — to lead a revolution. They thought they had found their leader in Jesus. But He forced his disciples to “get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people” (Mark 6:45).
From His place of prayer, Jesus saw them toiling in the contrary wind about six miles in the sea in the fourth watch of the night — early hours of the morning. Jesus could have calmed the sea from where he was, but the storm was an opportunity to build their faith for what they would face in future days.
He came to them walking on the sea. In the night, they thought it was a spirit, but Jesus said, “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid” (John 6:20). How glad they must have been to hear their Master’s voice. And Peter was so elated and beyond believing, he asked if he could go to the Lord on the water. With Jesus’ assurance, Peter stepped from the ship and started walking toward Jesus.
Yes, his eyes did leave Christ and the storm claimed his attention, but again, the divine power of the Lord Jesus was manifested. He lifted Peter from the water and they both got into the boat. The storm immediately ceased — not slowly, as in nature, but at once.
The law of gravity did not crumble — it was still intact — but Christ’s divine power was stronger and overrode the power of nature. After all, nature was His creation.
This manifestation foretold the power that raised Jesus from the dead — when the grave could not hold Him. Praise the Lord, He has all power. Because He lives, we live.