Saddened by the news that Herod had beheaded his cousin John, Jesus withdrew to the far side of the Sea of Galilee hoping to find a quiet place to be alone. The crowds would not have it. They tracked his boat across the lake and met him on the far shore. As much as he wanted some rest, he had even more compassion, so he set aside his own desire and began to talk with them and to heal the sick.

The crowd continued to swell to more than five thousand people and when evening came, the disciples encouraged Jesus to send them away so the people could find food to eat. Instead, Jesus told the disciples to feed them. They must have already considered the idea, but abandoned it when they had only found five loaves of bread and two fish in a little boy’s lunch. They laughed at the absurdity of the idea. Where would they get the money or find the food to feed them all?

But Jesus wanted to expand their thinking. His Father’s realm was above and beyond the limits of what they could do on their own. What was impossible for them, was not for him. He took the little boy’s lunch, blessed it, broke it, and told them to give it to the crowd. As they did, the fish and bread never ran out. They kept breaking it and sharing it with others and somehow it kept multiplying. When the people had finished, they gathered up twelve baskets of leftovers.

In the excitement of the miracle, the crowd wanted to make him their king right then and there. But Jesus would have none of it, and he quietly slipped away in the darkness to go up in the mountains to finally be alone with his Father.

As Jesus had instructed them, the disciples climbed back into their boat and set out across the lake. How amazed they must have been at the things they saw that day—the miracles and healings, and finally the miracle that had happened in their own hands!

Soon the winds began to pick up. By the time they were three miles from shore, the wind had grown to a gale, and the swells tossed their boat backward. As experienced as they were, the sea was not something to toy with. As they tried to row to safety, the wind whipped the seaspray into their faces. Waves crashed over the bow. They were cold and wet, far from land, and in danger of their boat capsizing.

But off in the distance, something was moving on the water. Peter strained to make it out.
It was too small to be another boat. On this tack it would most certainly pass them by. But what was it? Terrified as it came closer, someone shouted out, “Look, a ghost!”

Immediately, reassuring them, Jesus shouted out, “Don’t be afraid, it’s me!”

Peter peering into the darkness said, “Lord, if that’s you, let me come to you.” “Okay, come on,” Jesus smiled.

And surprisingly Peter did. Caught up in the moment he jumped right off the side of the boat and ran toward Jesus. Somehow the waves held him. But his eyes soon strayed, taking in the waves and wind that still whipped around him. The sheer impossibility of what was going on came crashing down, and Peter began to sink. Panic set in. “Lord, help!” he cried, certain he would drown.

But Jesus reached out and took him by the hand, pulling him back to the surface. “Oh Peter, you were doing it! Why did you doubt?”

Then the two walked back to the boat and as they climbed back in, the wind stopped and the waves evened out. Absolutely awe-struck, the others had no choice but to worship him. “Certainly, You are the Son of God!”

Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9, John 6 


This article “Creation Bending to His Will” has been reprinted with permission from Windblown Media, taken from A Man Like No Other: the Illustrated Life of Jesus. (c) 2011.