Faith Daily | 17 April 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - EASTER TWO
whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life
of all who put their trust in him:
raise us, we pray, from the death of sin
to the life of righteousness;
that we may ever seek the things which are above,
where he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: John 6: 16-21
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17got into a boat, and started across the lake to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18The lake became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. 20But he said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’ 21Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land towards which they were going.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by John Vickers
John’s writing of Jesus’ walking on the water is also related in Matthew, and Mark. John’s purpose was not solely to tell about another miracle by Christ, but to emphasize what its consequences should be and to distinguish between true and false disciples.
Jesus had fed 5000 men that same afternoon, actually 20 000 to 25 000 people if women and children are factored in. This miracle (according to Einstein’s Theory of E=MC squared) required the energy output equivalent of powering the world’s entire electricity requirements for 4 years! An unimaginable example of God’s power. After the meal He went to pray alone, sending his disciples to sail across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum via Bethsaida.
They had left in twilight, yet by the fourth watch (3am-6am) had made little headway, probably only 3 miles or so from Bethsaida, because of the wind and waves, exhausted from the effort and in dire straits.
The lake to this day, is a volatile body of water, prevailing winds and the position of the hills which channel the wind, can create a vortex of destructive power.
Jesus sees them and walks across the waves, and hails them, stilling their terror because they thought it was a ghost. He then saves Peter from drowning after Peter had impulsively joined him on the water. Then Jesus boards the boat and the storm is instantly stopped, and (often overlooked) “immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going”, moved the boat in an instant to the distant shore at Capernaum.
The consequence of this series of five miracles is that true disciples recognised Him “truly you are the Son of God” and worshipped Him. False disciples follow crowds, attracted by supernatural spectacles or to be given earthly benefit – free food. They come to him for the wrong reasons, not to worship, but for earthly rewards.
The essence of this miraculous event is that true disciples who witness a miracle turn to Him, recognise Him for who He is, God incarnate, feed on His word, and worship Him by faith and not by works or for perishable earthly rewards.
Many Christians continue to fill their arms with works, leaving little room to hear His voice, learn his ways and grow their faith in God through a relationship with Jesus.
They will protest that they “did many works in your name” only to hear “I never knew you, depart from me.” Your relationship with Jesus comes before all else.
FINAL PRAYER: APBA p570
Mighty God and ruler of all creation,
give new strength to our faith,
that we may recognise your presence
even when all hope seems lost.
Help us to face trials with serenity
as we walk with Christ through the stormy seas of life
and come at the last to your eternal peace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.