16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea,
17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.
19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened.
20 But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”
21 Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. – John 6:16-21
1. Jesus’s sovereignty over the sea
John makes it a point to say that the sea had become rough and that a strong wind was blowing. There was no way that what they were about to see was some sort of trickery.
On this rough and terrifying sea, Jesus walks effortlessly, three or four miles into it, no less. The Savior wasn’t doing this merely to frighten and impress the disciples. He was showing His sovereignty and Lordship over the earth. The sea is terrifying, especially when it’s roused up. But God walks on it as He pleases.
2. I Am
Seeing that the disciples were frightened, Jesus says, “It is I“. The Greek can also be translated “I am”, and in fact, we’ll see a repetition of that phrase throughout the rest of the book of John. This is likely an allusion to what God called Himself when Moses asked for His name: “I Am who I Am…tell them that I Am has sent you.” Jesus is identifying with Yahweh, both in deed and in word.
3. The transportation
Here they were, three or four miles into the sea, and when they realized it was the Savior, they were glad to take Him into the boat, and immediately, the boat was at the destination. Again, this is not a miracle just for the sake of miracle. This points to His deity. Psalm 107 says,
29 He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. – Psalm 107:29-30
Who, but God, shows sovereignty over the sea? And who, but God, can assure safe arrival to a destination?
As we think about the Savior’s walking on water, let us marvel at God the Son.