John 6:1-21 (God in the Storms)


Intro: Anyone here have a Bad day today:

A)Sunday – Dryer breaks – Worship leaders late


B) The events of John 6:1-15 take place in all 4 gospels.

1) Interesting that no other event other than the crucifixion is told by all four gospels


C) Not His Birth/ Baptism/or His  temptation!

1)But all four gospel writers chronicle this day!


D) Now we looked at this story in our time together on Sunday –  { Disciples pt of view

1)Briefly look at it again From the point of view of Jesus { Boy where is the man who … see Jesus


2) Set the scene for what unfolds in V. 16-21


Once again I want to consider this account drawing from all 4 of the gospel writers.  After theses things

A)The day begins in sorrow: Jesus gets the news that John the B. – His cousin and fore runner has been beheaded.


B) Only person alive at the time who Knew Jesus was the Promised Messiah.{ Herod wants to see Jesus


C) His sorrow is interrupted however by the return of His disciples are away on their 1st solo missionary

1) They were excited wanting to share.

So Jesus responds by wanting to get some alone time with his disciples – As well as for Himself -

A) Reflect / Grieve – consider / Pray


B) But they get into a boat – head across the Sea of Galilee  - But the crowd is going to follow!


C) When Jesus lands on the shore in Bethsaida –He steps out of the sea of Galilee into a Sea of Humanity

1)  10-15 thousand people are waiting!


Talk about a wild day! Day filled with extreme emotions and demands

Intense sorrow: the death of John

Immediate threat- Herod wants to see Jesus.

Immeasurable joy- his disciples are back rejoicing

Immense crowds – everyone wanting a piece of Him

Insensitive interruptions – he sought rest & got people.


How do you respond when Your plan gets interrupted?

A)It used to drive me crazy: First hired by CCV as a Youth Pastor – Gaylord Day planner


B) Every year I would get a new one from him

1) I became a day planner kind of guy!


C) Learned – Ministry can’t be kept thru a day planner! – THINGS CHANGE

1) Being organized is good, but: Blessed are ..flexible

Ministry is about People: Mark tells us that Jesus immediately goes into Ministry mode: A)COMPASSION { Sheep ..shepherd

Began to teach them – minister to their needs


B) Whenever Plans take precedence over people something is wrong


Around the turn of the century there were two of those big Paddle boats going down the Mississippi


Sailors on one boat challenged the sailors on the other boat to a race.  IT WAS ON!


Well one of the boats started to fall behind – quickly burning up their supply of coal. – Enough for a trip but not a race.


It was then one of the young sailors had an idea – started to throw the cargo they were being paid to transport into to the furnace –

They discovered it burned as good as the coal


Well they won the race but they burned up the cargo they were supposed to transport.


A lot of ministries do the same when they get so focused on their plan / forget about people.


C) Jesus seeing these people were hungry and had come a long way – reaches out to them.

D) This goes on for hrs until the disciples final come to him and say – Lord it is getting late – this is a deserted place – send the people away – for food.


E)Jesus responds by saying: No I think you should give them something to eat.

1)John says here in v.5 He asked Philip – who was from this area – where can we buy bread.


F) Invitation to see the need – to be involved –

1) Immediately Philip is like – no way! Not enough


Andrew steps forward and says there is a lad

5 loaves/ 2 fish

A)Jesus says I can use that – Takes the little and feeds the Multitude. W/ Leftovers { Skeptics ….


B) That is where we want to pick up the story:

1) Matt & Mark – tell us at this point – Immediately Jesus tells his disciples – get ready to go


C) Sends them back down to the beach – to get into a boat to cross back over to the other side.


D) This blows my mind: Jesus is so different from me

1) Sunday am Preached 3 services – up at 5am –


E) Last thing I want to do is clean up – I don’t even want to talk – talked out –

1) I want to eat – Relax – let someone else clean up


Opposite mentality of Jesus: You guys go I will take care of the 15,000 people – dismiss them

A)So the disciples head off – and something interesting happens amongst the crowd


V.14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."

V.15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.


B)That is a remarkable statement of a proper conclusion, followed by a terribly wrong response.

1)As they saw this miracle happen, their minds went back to a verse in Duet 18 ,


C) where God had fed the people in the wilderness with manna from heaven, and Moses shared with the People



"The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,


D) Well people in the crowd began to connect the dots. 

1)The murmur began to spread through the whole crowd, "This must be the one of whom Moses said, 'There will be a prophet like unto me'."


And they were dead right.

A)That was one of the signs of the Messiah; that was indeed proof that here was the one of whom Moses spoke.


B)But the strange and sad thing was that when they reached that proper conclusion, they immediately reacted in a very improper way.


C) It says that Jesus, "perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king," 1) Jesus separated himself and went back up on the mountainside alone.


What a strange reaction!

A)They were not ready to follow him as the Messiah; they wanted to use him;


B)they wanted God to work for them according to their program and their schedule.{end of grocery shp


C)Before we judge them too sharply, let us ask ourselves, do we do the same thing?


D)Have you ever become angry with God because he did not give you what you asked for?

1)You were really expecting him to work for you and to do what you wanted?


E)When He didn’t respond the way that you wanted – you got mad / or disappointed w/ God

Listen that is not the kind of relationship that Jesus wants to have with you.


A)Where you are only interested in what you can get from him.


B) He wants you to be with Him – get behind His plan.


C) Blessed are the Meek – Power under control

1) Stallion – Harnessed –


D) Blessed are those who are Harnessed – Let God be God – Us His vessel – His tool.


So at this point: V.15b tells us Jesus withdraws from them – heads up to a Mt ALONE !

A)Finally some ALONE TIME – Matthew and Mark tell us He went there to Pray!


B) I wonder what He was praying about. Ideas:

1) Blind eyes open to see the truth

2) People want bread for physical hunger – would want bread for their souls


C) AND – I think he prayed for his disciples – who were in the midst of a storm. RD V. 16-18


16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing.

Consider his vantage point: Mt looking down at the sea – See’s a storm – Boat – Struggling

A)Mark says they were straining at the wind.


B)What a Beautiful Picture of our High priest.

1)Jesus doing right now –Heb 7:25  High Priest who lives to make intercession for us.


C) He is always praying for you. In the midst of the storms!


This story teaches us several things:

1) God sometimes sends us into Storms! Jesus told them to cross over.


A)Children of Israel at the Red Sea – No sooner are they delivered – they are trapped – boxed in.

1)Mt Pi Hahiroth / MT Migdol / Back Red Sea


B) God does that at times – You are in HIS perfect will – things are not flowing

1) Not going smooth –


C) But in the midst of that time we can rest assured God is with us – Watching over us.

1) Our High Priest is praying for us


2) God sometimes delays His rescue.

A)V.16 tells us that when evening came: talking probably 6 or 7 o’clock – at night.  


B) That is when they start out. V.19 says they were rowing for about 3 or 4 hrs. Getting tired


C) Mark’s gospel Ch.6: Mark 6:47- 48

47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land.

48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. [Pause here] Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea,


D) Now is the Lord Cruel here: Does He like to watch His people suffer? –

1) Lets see how long they will last.


No He is a smart parent: He is wanting his disciples to develop some spiritual muscles.

A)Mark 4 they panicked – Jesus is sleeping – they panicked – Don’t you care……


B) This time they are not panicking – they are rowing – they are determined to make it.

1) Imagine conversation- “We are going against the wind – lets turn around and go back”


C) NO Jesus said to Cross – we are going to cross.

1) All the while Jesus is watching – letting them develop their Spiritual muscles


D) He is going to come to them – But in His timing !


We do the same thing with our kids –

A)We want them to grow up – develop – they fall down – not racing to pick them up.


B) Let them struggle a little – Only way they are going to grow.


C) Only way they will develop their muscles – and learn to walk or swim or whatever.

1) If we come immediately – FOREVER PANSIES


D) Don’t think my dad Child abuser – Good lesson

1)Older kids – me big – fight him or fight me.


So when does Jesus finally respond ? Mark 6:48 says it was about the 4th watch. 3am

A)So out at 7pm – struggle for 4hrs until 11pm – He waits 4 more hrs to come.


B) This is the big mistake that we make – When God delays His coming – we think – he has abandoned us.

1) Nothing could be further from the truth.


C) His delays are not denials – Doubtstorms

1)If God is good –why do I feel so bad?

If God’s message is so clear – why do I get confused?


If the father is in control why do good people have cut wrenching problems?


3) The Storms are an opportunity to see the Glory of God.   John 6:19-21

19 So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. 20 But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."  21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.


A)Israel was boxed in – God parted the waters! –

1) They saw the Providence of God – providing a way of escape.


B) They saw the power of God – destroyed their enemies.


C) That is what the Storms do. They allow us to see the hand of God in a way that we would not normally

1) Chet Lowe Story


D) Ministering in Liberia – Revolution broke out


The Storm becomes a platform for God’s glory to be displayed – Strength in weakness

                            Joni Erickson Tada


Writer singer Painter – No one would Know !

Now she has an International Ministry.


Joni can I be glorified in your weakness.


4) Storms lead to moments of Worship.

A)Matthew’s account of this story ends in a very enlightening way.


Matthew 14:33

Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God."


B)After the storm they worshipped! Here is what is interesting – they had never worshipped him before as a group.


C) Search the gospel records – you won’t find a time where that took place amongst the disciples

1) Not when he heals the leper

2)Forgives the woman caught in adultery

3) Raises Lazarus from the dead.

4) preaches to the masses

5) Fed 5,000 or the 4,000


D) But it happens here – When He rescues them


Max Lucado: “When you recognize God as the Creator, you will admire Him. When you discover His strength, you will rely on Him. But when He saves you, then you worship Him.”


E) When He rescues you – no longer content to keep Him at a distance !

1) The rescue leads to worship – to thankfulness.


John Newton was a Slave trader: Wild man / Sailor who despised authority.  Read excerpt

In his early twenties, he made his way to Africa, where he became intrigued with the lucrative slave trade. At age twenty-one, he made his living on the Greyhound, a slave ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

John ridiculed the moral and poked fun at the religious. He even made jokes about a book that would eventually help reshape his life: The Imitation of Christ. In fact, he was degrading that book a few hours before his ship sailed into an angry storm.


That night the waves pummeled the Greyhound, spinning the ship one minute on the top of a wave.

 Plunging her the next into a watery valley.


John awakened to find his cabin filled with water. A side of the Greyhound had collapsed.

Ordinarily such damage would have sent a ship to the bottom in a matter of minutes. The Greyhound, however, was carrying buoyant cargo and remained afloat.


John worked at the pumps all night. For nine hours, he and the other sailors struggled to keep the ship from sinking. But he knew that it was a losing cause. Finally, when his hopes were more battered than the vessel, he threw himself on the saltwater-soaked deck and pleaded, “If this will not do, then Lord have mercy on us all.”

John didn’t deserve mercy, but he received it. The Greyhound and her crew survived.

John never forgot God’s mercy shown on that tempestuous day in the roaring Atlantic.


He returned to England where he became a prolific composer. You’ve sung his songs, like this one:

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found,

was blind, but now I see.


This slave-trader-turned-songwriter.

Along with his hymn writing, he also became a powerful pulpiteer. For nearly fifty years, he filled pulpits and churches with the story of the Savior who meets you and me in the storm.


A year or two before his death, people urged him to give up preaching because of his failing sight. "What!" he explained. "Shall the old African blasphemer stop while he can yet speak?"


He wouldn’t stop. He couldn’t stop. What had begun as a prayer of fear resulted in a lifetime of faith. During his last years, someone asked him about his health. He confessed that his powers were failing.


“My memory is almost gone,” he said, “but I remember two things: I am a great sinner, and Jesus

is a great Savior.”


What more do you and I need to remember?