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... walk on water ...
"in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea".
3 and 6 AM

Matthew 14:25
The unique
nature of this unusual event, one dark windy night on the sea of Galilee, has tended to impress itself in Christian thinking without its associated Bible context, and so its real significance has been generally lost.
Jesus was not demonstrating the supernatural!
Jesus was not acting in authority as the Creator!
The behaviour of the Lord Jesus Christ in this context as in all others is set before us in Holy Scripture as an example for us to follow!

Remember, Jesus
walked in our 'shoes'
so that we could
walk in His 'shoes'.
hearing of King Herod's vicious beheading of the precious prophet John the Baptist to satisfy the whim of a dancing girl, deeply grieved, Jesus withdrew with His disciples by boat to be alone, But the crowds heard where He was and they followed Him on foot from the surrounding towns.
So, when He went ashore and saw the huge crowd that had gathered, in compassion for them, He began to minister in teaching and healing. But as the day went on, His disciples became concerned and approached to remind Him that the people needed to leave for the day was ending and the people needed to eat.
strangely, Jesus answered that the people did not need to leave – for the disciples could feed them.
His disciples showed Him their inadequacy of just five small loaves of bread and two fishes, and taking them and giving thanks to God He shared them with the crowd and the shared portions multiplied as He gave it, satisfying the need of the people, and with extra for the disciples after they had picked up the leftovers.
impact of this public ministry so convinced the crowd that Jesus was their Messiah that they wanted to make Him their king, whether He liked it or not. So, because of this aggressive attitude of the crowd, Jesus sent His disciples away in their boat without Him, and then He withdrew up the mountain to pray, knowing the crowd would wait for Him there rather than circle around the Sea of Galilee to meet the boat.
John 6:14-15.
Matthew 14:22.
During that night, some time after three in the morning, Jesus on the mountain in prayer became aware that His disciples were in panic as their boat was battered by heavy waves and wind. So in the dark He came down the mountain to the sea side, but there was now no boat for Him to reach His disciples. So, He came to them – walking on the water!
This was not a night-time demonstration of the miraculous as the crowd slept, neither was it a show to impress His disciples.
This is presented in Holy Scripture as simply the way, the only way available to Him, to reach those in trouble who needed His encouragement!
When the panicking disciples then saw Him emerging from the dark, on the billowing waves, they naturally thought it could not be a human and so must be a ghost-apparition. Jesus begins to reassure them, but Peter, by temperament the most outspoken, calls out because it looks like Jesus –
"Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water"
Jesus does, but Peter understandably becomes distracted by the violent wind and waves, his confidence fades, and so nature begins to have its way, before Jesus takes hold of him, joins them in the boat, and their boat is then instantly at land.
John 6:21.
Those who fear
getting their feet wet
will never walk on water!
So why did Jesus do the impossible of walking on water?
His disciples needed Him!
did even better than
walk on water (Acts 8:39-40).
His exemplary loyalty to His people!
1 Corinthians 11:20...
It is for this reason that, when Jesus later instituted the only regular event His people are to celebrate together, the symbolic sharing in the Cup of the New Covenant purchased through His sacrifice, it is always to be introduced by their breaking/sharing of Bread together, which the New Testament explains, is a statement of unity in Christ through mutual loyalty to each other!
"When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal.
....the Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it,
and said, 'This is My body which is for you'.
In other words, lack of mutual commitment invalidates Holy Communion/Eucharist,
no matter how sincere the private devotion of the individual may be, and why this act can never be private.
The shared bread is a spiritual statement of mutual commitment as the introduction to the Cup of the New Covenant.
As it says elsewhere:
If He died for us
we ought to be
willing to die
for one another.
1 John 3:16.
Holy Communion was meant to be initiated each time with a symbolic shared act of mutual loyalty before taking the Cup.
This is the way-of-Jesus which is meant to be demonstrated in the lives of all His disciples, even if it means walking on water to reach them!
So, mutual commitment, loyalty to the welfare of each other (love), is the essential characteristic of the community of Christ's Church (its identity).
"We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death." (1 John 3:14)

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