John 6:15-21 The Savior In The Storm

by | May 13, 2024 | John, New Testament

I. The Setting Vs. 15-17

A. The Eager Crowd V. 15

1. Before John 6:1-14, Jesus had originally planned to have a time of rest with His disciples, away from the crowds, but the crowds found Him, and so he ministered to them.
2. take Him by force– to seize violently.
3. The Jewish people wanted a Messiah to liberate them from Roman occupation.
4. After the feeding of the 5000+, the crowds wanted to take Jesus by force and make Him King, but He withdrew from them.
5. Jesus was not moved by popular opinion or by human reasoning.
6. Many people would want to “seize the moment” and ride the wave of popularity.
7. Jesus took His promptings only from the Holy Spirit.

B. Jesus Diffuses The Situation Vs. 16, 17

1. Because of the urgency of the crowd, Jesus sought to diffuse the situation.
2. The crisis needed immediate action.
3. He insisted that His disciples leave, and then He told the crowd to leave.
4. It is understandable why he retreated alone for prayer.
5. Mark 6:45 45Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side…

a. Made- constrained: The disciples seemed to be reluctant to leave Jesus.
b. Perhaps they wanted to follow the excitement of the crowd.
c. They may have not wanted to leave Jesus alone.
d. Jesus ordered them into the boat, and to the other side of the lake.

6. V. 17- They may have been expecting to see Jesus walking along the shoreline.

a. They proceeded across the lake, but there was no sign of Jesus.

7. V. 17went over the sea- Literally, they were going. They were on their way.

II. The Storm & The Savior Vs. 18-21

A. The Storm

1. V. 18- the sea arose- was rising, was being awakened.
2. Storms on the Sea of Galilee-
3. The Disciples’ Struggle-

a. Mark 6:47-48a 47Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them.

4. The Disciples were in God’s will.

a. Jesus had commanded them, and they had obeyed.
b. Some may ask why Jesus would endanger them by sending them into a storm.
c. Actually, staying with an excited but carnal crowd would have been more dangerous.

5. Jonah found himself in a storm because he disobeyed God.

a. The Disciples were in a storm because they obeyed God.

6. Jesus saw them struggling, straining, and fearful.

a. They were in very real danger.
b. Yet Jesus did not go to their rescue.

James 1:2, 3 2My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

7. Jesus didn’t stop loving these men as he watched them suffer.
8. His seeming delay was for their benefit, that their trust in themselves would decrease, and their faith in Him would increase.

B. The Savior Vs. 19-21

1. V. 19- This was during the fourth watch of the night, between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.

a. They had probably been rowing for 9 hours.

2. They were afraid- Matthew 14:26 And they cried out for fear.

a. The storm made them afraid.

i. They were seasoned fishermen who knew the danger they were in.
ii. They were familiar with this.

b. Their inability to save themselves made them afraid.

i. They had battled through many storms before, but they knew this one was bad.
ii. They were familiar with this.

c. The solution to their problem made them afraid.

i. They were not familiar with the help that Jesus would bring to them.
ii. They saw their salvation coming to them, but it wasn’t in the context that they were used to.
iii. They saw their salvation, and thought it was more trouble.

3. God’s help often comes to us in ways that seem to make matters worse instead of better.
JFB- How often thus we miscall our chiefest mercies-not only thinking them distant when they are near, but thinking the best the worst.
4. John 6 tells us that this was during the Passover season; there was a full moon.

a. It may have been that Jesus could see them because of the moonlight.
b. Others have suggested that the storm created cloudy skies, and that Jesus saw them supernaturally.

5. V. 20– It is I- literally- I Am.

a. Matthew 14:28-32 28And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
b. Peter is unsure if it is Jesus. He makes a wild request and momentarily walks on water
c. He faltered began to sink, and cried out to Jesus who saved him.

6. When they discerned that it was Jesus, they were willing to receive Him.
7. For a time, when things were at their worst, they were unwilling to receive Him because they didn’t recognize Him.

a. How quickly their fear turned into wonder and worship.
b. How quickly they were out of danger with calm hearts.

8. When Jesus entered the boat, they arrived immediately at their destination.


1. God will not build His kingdom through the popular opinion of people who have an agenda.
2. Jesus wants to protect His people from being swept up by popular opinion of Him.
3. Jesus sends His people away from such situations to protect them.
4. Jesus sometimes sends His people into storms. It can be His will for them.
5. Storms in life don’t necessarily mean we are doing something wrong. We could be right.
6. In the midst of our storms, Jesus can see us. He will come to us at the right time.
7. Jesus shows up to help in ways that at first may terrify us and that we don’t expect.
8. God will use others with less than perfect faith to reveal Himself to us.