There's a remarkable story recorded in Matthew, Mark, and John where Jesus walks out on the sea, in a windstorm. (Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52, and John 6:16-21). Jesus had just finished feeding the 5,000 plus people with a kid's lunch-able. He sent the disciples ahead of him across the sea while he went up on the mountain side to pray. As the account goes, the wind was blasting against the disciples all night as Jesus watched, but they were determined to get where Jesus told them to go so they were rowing against the wind. During the fourth watch, that is, into the early hours of the morning, they saw something out in the dark on the water and freaked out. It was Jesus, walking on the water. John's account says that Jesus had intended to walk right past them, but they spotted him.
From everything I learned in my college physics course, walking on (unfrozen) water is impossible. And my experience backs this up. However, it demonstrated that all things are possible for God. You'd think the disciples would understand this reality after watching Jesus break bread for hours turning 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread into enough to feed more than 5,000 people and having enough leftover for each disciple to hold a basket full. Yet, the Mark account shows us that the disciples were still confused and even hardened their hearts. The Matthew account says they worshiped, but like you and I, they probably were still struggling to have faith that all things are possible with God.
Even more curious is something that Matthew includes in his account. Matthew, who was in the boat with the other disciples tells us that Peter shouted out, "If is you Jesus, call me out to you so I can be with you." Peter was ready to join Jesus in this impossibility. How do we know? When Jesus said "Come," Peter got out of the boat and walked to Jesus.
If nothing else, I hope you see that what we think we know does not confine what God can and does do. In addition, neither are we bound by what we think we know. We are called to obey, even when Jesus calls us into the impossible. After all, Jesus is with us, and for Jesus, all things are possible.
As you gather to discuss the account of Jesus walking on water (and Peter too), start by reading Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52, and John 6:16-21. Each offers a slightly different perspective. What is the same across all three perspectives? What can we learn from the differences?
Look at these passages with an eye toward God. What can we learn about Jesus from these accounts? What can we learn about the disciples (and by extension, ourselves)? As you explore this passage, here are some additional questions to ask yourself or your Fellowship Group:
1. Everything we know about water would tell us walking on it is impossible. What does it say about Jesus that he did this? What other some other examples of “impossible” positions we hold because of what we think we know?
2. Jesus called Peter to join him in the “impossible,” and Peter did. What “impossible” things are Jesus calling you to join him in?
3. It’s one thing to learn and know something about Jesus; but it’s a totally different thing to obey Jesus. What is Jesus calling you to obey this week? Is what you think you know stopping you? Why or why now?
In addition, here's a short video sharing some things happening this week.
For the Kingdom!