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Gene’s Daily Scriptural Postings

Reflective Bible Study.

Letting Jesus Help: John 6:16-24

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Year in John – Episode 13: When we face trials in life, the best thing for us to do is ask Jesus for help. We might be surprised with how much help Jesus can give us, especially when we look at what happens after the disciples spent a night unsuccessfully trying to cross the lake without Jesus.

Read the transcript:

Immediately following Jesus feeding the crowd of over 5,000 people that we looked at in our last episode, our passage for this episode takes place that evening. At the end of our last event, Jesus sends the disciples away, telling them to cross the lake and that He will find them later. Jesus did this because the people present who experienced the miracle of food multiplication wanted to make Jesus their king at that moment. I suspect the disciples would have supported this declaration, and Jesus wanted to stop this from happening.

This leads us into our passage for this episode. Our passage opens with Jesus praying on the mountain by Himself, and the disciples beginning their journey across the lake. Let’s read what happened.

Our passage for this episode is found in John’s gospel, chapter 6, and we will read it from the God’s Word translation. Starting in verse 16, John tells us that:

16 When evening came, his disciples went to the sea. 17 They got into a boat and started to cross the sea to the city of Capernaum. By this time it was dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 A strong wind started to blow and stir up the sea.

19 After they had rowed three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea. He was coming near the boat, and they became terrified.

20 Jesus told them, “It’s me. Don’t be afraid!”

21 So they were willing to help Jesus into the boat. Immediately, the boat reached the shore where they were going.

22 On the next day the people were still on the other side of the sea. They noticed that only one boat was there and that Jesus had not stepped into that boat with his disciples. The disciples had gone away without him. 23 Other boats from Tiberias arrived near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord gave thanks. 24 When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into these boats and went to the city of Capernaum to look for Jesus.

In this event, two details stand out to me.

The first detail is that immediately after Jesus stepped into the boat, the boat reached the shore where they were going. It is possible this was another miracle beyond Jesus simply walking on water, or that John abbreviated the last portion of the trip. The big truth I can learn from the first portion of this passage is that life without Jesus is significantly more difficult than life with Jesus.

Taking this idea a step further, we could also conclude that it is impossible to reach God’s goal for us without Jesus. However, when we are with Jesus, we have already arrived at God’s destination for us.

The second detail that stood out to me is found in verse 22, when we read that “On the next day the people were still on the other side of the sea. They noticed that only one boat was there and that Jesus had not stepped into that boat with his disciples.

This detail is fascinating to me. The people who had been fed knew that the disciples had taken the only boat when they left, and that Jesus wasn’t with them in the boat when they pushed off from the shore. These people, as well as some others who made the trip across the lake to the place where the bread had been served were all looking for Jesus, expecting to find Him without His disciples.

However, they all were disappointed and too late. This detail tells me that sometimes Jesus is away from His followers, but the best place to look for Jesus is with those who are serving and following Him.

Part of me wonders what would have happened if Jesus had stayed on that shore, and if the disciples had reached Capernaum without Him. What would the crowd have done if they had found Jesus apart from His disciples? Would the crowd have wanted to pressure Jesus into being a king? Would they have demanded more food like the previous day’s miracle?

We might never know, but what we can be certain of is that Jesus walked across the lake to the disciples not just because they were having a difficult time without Him in the boat, but because Jesus loves His followers. Another thing we can learn in this event is that when we are unable to reach our goal, Jesus is happy to come find us to help us get to our destination. The disciples made it part way across the lake without Jesus, but when Jesus came to be with them, He solves the part of the trip they are unable to solve.

In our own lives, when we are dealing with turning away from sin and leaving it in our past, some aspects of this are possible for us to do on our own. However, there will be a point when we have reached as far as we can without Jesus, and when we have come to this place and want to go further, don’t be surprised if Jesus comes and offers His help.

Jesus is more than willing to help us conquer sin in our lives and when we fill our hearts with Him and God’s Holy Spirit, we actively are pushing sin out. The best way to get rid of sin is by crowding our lives with Jesus and serving Him. When we are wholly serving Jesus, we won’t have time for sin, and our focus will be on God’s will for our lives!

As we come to the end of another podcast episode, here are the challenges I will leave you with:

Always continue to seek God first in your life and choose to depend on Him for help turning away from sin in your own life. Resolve to focus on what God wants you to focus on and push the sin out of your life by filling it so full of God’s goals for your life that sin cannot break in. Choose to be too busy doing God’s will for you to have time to sin.

Always keep your faith, hope, trust, and belief in Jesus and His sacrifice because we cannot earn our salvation through what we do. Jesus earned salvation for us, and the best way for us to say thank You to Him is by walking forward through life with Him and without sin.

Also, as I regularly challenge you to do, continue praying and studying the Bible for yourself to grow closer to God each and every day. God wants a personal relationship with you, and we grow a personal relationship with God when we pray, study our Bibles with an open mind listening for what He wants to share with us, and when we actively step out into His will and His plan for our lives. Life with God can begin today, and life with God extends into eternity!

And as I end every set of challenges by saying in one way or another, never stop short of, back away from, chicken out of, or give up on where God wants to lead you to in your life with Him!

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