Did Jesus Walk on Water – Christian Faith Guide

By Paul King •  Updated: 10/12/23 •  14 min read

The story of Jesus walking on water is one that has captivated believers and skeptics throughout history. According to the biblical account in Matthew 14:22-33, Jesus performed this miracle during a stormy night on the Sea of Galilee. As his disciples were struggling to row their boat against the wind and waves, Jesus approached them, walking on the water. Naturally, they were terrified, thinking they were seeing a ghost. But Jesus reassured them, saying, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’

Peter, always eager to test his faith, called out to Jesus, ‘Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.’ Jesus responded, ‘Come.’ And Peter got out of the boat and began walking on the water towards Jesus. However, as soon as he saw the wind, he became frightened and began to sink. He cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught Peter, saying, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ They both got into the boat, and the wind ceased.

This powerful story holds deep spiritual significance. It showcases Jesus’ authority over nature and his ability to defy the laws of physics. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of faith and trust in God. Peter’s initial faith enabled him to walk on water, but his doubt caused him to sink. It teaches us that when we keep our focus on Christ and trust in him, we can accomplish the impossible.

The story of Jesus walking on water is not only a miraculous event but also a symbolic representation of Jesus’ divinity and power. In the Bible, water often symbolizes chaos, danger, and the unknown. By walking on the water, Jesus demonstrates his control over these forces and his ability to bring calm to any situation. It is a powerful reminder that Jesus is not bound by the limitations of this world but is the Son of God with authority over all creation.

The significance of this miracle can also be found in its impact on Christian faith. It has inspired believers throughout history to trust in Jesus and his power to overcome any obstacle. As we reflect on this extraordinary act, we are reminded of the need to have unwavering faith in the face of adversity. Just as Jesus reassured his disciples in the storm, he reassures us today that he is with us in the midst of life’s storms, ready to extend his hand and save us when we call upon him.

In conclusion, the story of Jesus walking on water is not just a fascinating historical account, but a deeply meaningful event that speaks to the core of Christian faith. Through this miracle, Jesus reveals his divinity, power, and his desire for us to have unwavering faith in him. As we ponder upon this incredible act, may it strengthen our own faith and deepen our understanding of the profound teachings and beliefs associated with Jesus’ extraordinary acts.

Key Takeaways

The Biblical Account of Jesus Walking on Water

The biblical account presents the event of Jesus walking on water as a significant miracle performed by Jesus Christ. In Matthew 14:22-33, it is written:

‘Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’

‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’

‘Come,’ he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’

This miraculous event is not just a myth, but a genuine miracle witnessed by Jesus’ disciples. While skeptics may propose scientific explanations, it is important to note the spiritual significance attributed to this event by believers. It is a testament to Jesus’ divine power and authority over nature.

Another relevant story from the Bible is found in Job 9:8:

‘He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.’

This verse highlights the power and sovereignty of God, who has control over the elements, including the ability to walk on water.

The historical evidence and interpretations surrounding this event further emphasize its meaning and impact. It serves as a reminder of Jesus’ divinity, his ability to defy natural laws, and his unwavering love and care for his disciples. The disciples’ initial fear and doubt, followed by Peter’s bold step of faith and subsequent doubt, teach us the importance of trust and reliance on Jesus in all circumstances.

Historical Evidence and Interpretations

One aspect of the matter at hand concerns the evaluation of historical evidence and various interpretations surrounding it. When examining the biblical account of Jesus walking on water, it is important to consider the historical context in which it occurred.

In the Gospel of Matthew, it is written:

‘And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ‘It is a ghost!’ and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14:25-27)

This account provides us with the historical evidence of Jesus’ miraculous ability to walk on water. The disciples’ reaction of fear and confusion further emphasizes the extraordinary nature of this event.

Scholars have analyzed the available historical evidence, such as ancient texts and archaeological findings, to gain insights into the events described. The Bible itself serves as a primary historical document, providing firsthand accounts of Jesus’ teachings and miracles. The Gospel of Matthew, along with other Gospels, offers valuable insights into Jesus’ ministry and the miracles he performed.

Additionally, scientific explanations are often proposed to understand the phenomenon. While it is essential to consider different perspectives, it is important to remember the spiritual significance of this event as well. In the Gospel of Matthew, Peter also walks on water briefly before his faith wavers and he begins to sink. Jesus reaches out his hand and saves Peter, saying, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ (Matthew 14:31)

This story serves as a reminder of the power of faith and trust in Jesus. It teaches us that with unwavering faith, we can overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. The act of Jesus walking on water is not merely a physical phenomenon, but a symbol of his divinity and authority over the natural world.

In evaluating historical evidence and considering different interpretations, we gain a comprehensive understanding of the biblical account in its historical context. The miracles performed by Jesus are not only significant events in themselves, but they also hold deep spiritual meaning. By examining the historical context and the words of the Bible, we can appreciate the symbolism and the lessons conveyed through Jesus’ miraculous act of walking on water.

Symbolism and Spiritual Significance

The biblical account of Jesus walking on water holds profound symbolism and spiritual significance. This miraculous event showcases Jesus’ divine authority and power over creation.

In Matthew 14:22-33, we read about how Jesus sent His disciples ahead of Him in a boat while He went up on a mountainside to pray. During the night, a storm arose and the disciples were terrified. Then, they saw Jesus walking on the water towards them.

This extraordinary sight demonstrated Jesus’ divine authority over the natural elements. As Matthew 14:25-27 states, ‘Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’

Jesus’ words, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid,’ reveal His power to calm their fears and instill faith. This emphasizes the importance of unwavering faith and trust in Jesus. Peter, filled with faith, asked Jesus to call him to walk on the water too. Jesus granted his request and Peter took a few steps, but as soon as he doubted, he began to sink. Jesus stretched out His hand to save him, saying, ‘You of little faith… why did you doubt?’ (Matthew 14:31).

This incident teaches us that faith and trust in Jesus are essential for overcoming challenges and fears. It reminds us that when we keep our focus on Him, we can walk on the waters of life with confidence and overcome any obstacles that come our way.

Furthermore, Jesus’ walking on water reflects His divine nature and power. In the Gospel of John, Jesus declares, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life’ (John 14:6). By walking on water, Jesus reveals Himself as the embodiment of divine authority and power. This event highlights His unique position as the Son of God, who has dominion over all creation.

Faith and Belief in Jesus’ Miracles

Faith in the miracles attributed to Jesus is a fundamental aspect of belief in his divine authority. The New Testament provides numerous accounts of Jesus performing miraculous acts that demonstrate his power and confirm his identity as the Son of God.

One such miracle is the healing of the sick. In Mark 5:25-34, a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years approached Jesus with faith, believing that if she could just touch his clothing, she would be healed. Jesus, recognizing her faith, told her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’ This story highlights the importance of faith in receiving healing from Jesus.

Another remarkable miracle is the feeding of the thousands with a few loaves of bread and fish. In Matthew 14:13-21, Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fish, blessed them, and miraculously fed a crowd of five thousand men, not counting women and children. This miracle showcases Jesus’ ability to provide abundantly, even with limited resources. It exemplifies the power of faith and trust in Jesus’ ability to meet our needs.

Perhaps one of the most astonishing miracles is the raising of the dead. In John 11:1-44, Jesus resurrected Lazarus, who had been dead for four days. When Jesus arrived at the tomb, he said to Martha, Lazarus’ sister, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.’ Jesus then called Lazarus out of the tomb, and he came back to life. This miracle demonstrates Jesus’ authority over death and offers hope to believers that through faith in him, they too can have eternal life.

While skepticism regarding the authenticity of these miracles may arise, it is essential to remember the words of Jesus in John 20:29: ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ Believers find comfort and reassurance in the accounts of these miracles, as they are powerful demonstrations of Jesus’ divinity and serve to strengthen their faith in his teachings and mission.

The Impact of Jesus’ Miracle on Christian Faith

The impact of Jesus’ miracles on Christian belief is profound and can be seen through the transformative effect they have on individuals’ understanding of divine authority and power. These miracles are not just random acts, but rather they serve a greater purpose in strengthening the faith of believers.

One of the ways in which Jesus’ miracles demonstrate his divine nature and power is through his ability to heal the sick. In the Gospel of Matthew, it is written, ‘When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Shall I come and heal him?’ The centurion replied, ‘Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.’ When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, ‘Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith” (Matthew 8:5-10). This story showcases Jesus’ ability to heal simply through his spoken word, affirming his identity as the Son of God with divine authority and power.

Furthermore, Jesus’ miracles also reveal God’s compassion and love for humanity. In the Gospel of Mark, it is written, ‘A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering’ (Mark 5:24-29). This story demonstrates Jesus’ compassion as he heals the woman who had been suffering for years, showing God’s love and care for those in need.

Additionally, Jesus’ miracles challenge believers to trust in God’s power and authority. In the Gospel of John, it is written, ‘When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?’ He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, ‘It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!’ Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’ Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish’ (John 6:5-11). This story challenges believers to trust in God’s provision and rely on divine intervention, inspiring them to deepen their faith.

Through witnessing these miraculous acts, believers are encouraged to place their trust in Jesus and recognize the limitless power of God. These stories from the Bible not only strengthen their faith but also shape their understanding of divine authority and the theological implications of Jesus’ miracles. As believers continue to study and reflect on these accounts, they further deepen their understanding of God’s power and their own relationship with Him.

Paul King

I post written versions of my powerful sermons exploring topics like prayer, praise, biblical truths, and more expressions of faith. My church has a deeply spiritual culture, which I try to convey through vivid storytelling and applications in our everyday life. I spread the Good Word with lots of conviction and passion.