The Mountain, The Sea, The Savior

The Gospel of John   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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The title of this weeks message is
The Mountain, The Sea, The Savior
Turn with me please to the Gospel of John
We will be picking back up where we left off last week
in chapter 6 v14
and as you find your place
Let’s remember that
last week
Jesus provided bread on the mountain
And what the others thought impossible
Jesus made possible
as he fed the 5000 or really 15-20k
and that is such a great introduction
to this chapter
this week we will be comparing those
on the mountain
with those in the boat
as we cover Jesus walking on the water
and John doesn’t give a great amount
of detail so we will again
draw from Matthew and Mark
to help round out our account
the over arching theme of chapter 6
is that of true and false disciples
and that Jesus is the bread of life
for those that truly follow him
Not only on the mountains when
their stomachs are full
but also in the valley’s
or on the sea as we will see today
when they are met with their
in a time
when Jesus seems to not be around
So, with that said
I hope that you have found your place
we will be reading John 6.
starting in verse 14 and ending in verse 21
John 6:14–21 (CSB)
14 When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This truly is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Therefore, when Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. Darkness had already set in, but Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 A high wind arose, and the sea began to churn. 19 After they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea. He was coming near the boat, and they were afraid. 20 But he said to them, “It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him on board, and at once the boat was at the shore where they were heading.
Let us pray!


Next to the training classroom of our fire station
this quote is written by John Rennie on the walls
When confronted with a crisis,
you wil not rise to the occasion,
You will sink to the level of your training”
while reading through this text this morning
this quote kept popping in my mind
Maybe it was the word sinking
and water Im not really sure
other than the fact that God was pointing me in this direction
See one of my favorite things lately is getting these
sermon notes from our kids
(Hold one up)
this was a great idea to have them do this
and there may be some candy and prizes involved
but i wont disclose to protect the innocent
reading these just makes me smile
give examples…
Maddi asking about the transfiguration
Callan drawing picures
It says pastors name
and he wrote dad
see they may not know this
but as they are taking notes
and as you are listening to the sermons
well, in between naps at least
even as I am preparing for the sermons
not only are we growing with the Lord
not only are we being edified
but we are also training
we are coming here together
as the body of believers
to gain knowledge of the Lord
and gain fellowship with other
but also learn how to navigate
in that secular world around us
For the most part
we meet what
2.5 hours on sunday morning
1 hour sunday evening
and 1 hour wednesday night
then the ladies meet for another
couple of hours on monday mornings
thats what 4.5 hours ish we spend
“in church”
and the other 163.5 hours we are spent out in the world
where we are tempted
where we engage in wordly idealogy
where we struggle with society
to maintain our christian worldview
and if we are not trained in the way of the Lord
if we are not devouring scripture
if we are not praying
we will become victims of the very world
we are called to be a light unto
and not only that but
if we are not trained up
if we are not ready
when we go through trials in life
we will sink to what we are used to
see heres the deal
our level of training is based upon our time with the
with his word, and with fellow believers
so we must ask ourselvs
what level of training will we sink to when we go through a crisis
we will see two examples today
we will see those go through a mountain top experiances
and we will see the diciples go through a storm on the sea
and we will see
with one group
He withdrew
but for the other
we will see him defy the laws of nature
to save
3 points this moring are
The Mountain (V 14-15)
The Sea (V 16-19
and The Savior (V20-21)
So let us begin with our first point of this morning

The Mountain

John 6:14–1514 When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This truly is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
These folks sure were excited weren’t they
We just came off of a mountaintop experience wouldn’t you say
I mean Jesus just provided bread and substance
for a lot of people
and not only did all of the people
witness this miracle
but they all participated in it as well
they all had a portion
with some left over
so we are on the tail end of Jesus’
biggest miracle
around the time of the passoever
with a whole lot of people around
national pride is at it
relgiious pride is at its highest
in the middle of Roman rule and oppression
the people are ready for the messiah
and all things point to Jesus
and they are right
Jesus is the messiah
but they are right for the wrong reasons
see they were ready for the political messiah
they were ready for their earthly king
But Jesus tells us over and over again
that his kingdom is not of this world
and here we have the people,
the crowd
seeing the sign he has performed
recognizing him as the messiah Moses spoke of
in Duet. 18:15-18
and not only have they associated that
but now
they are even able to associate this miracle
with the one
Elisha performed in
2 Kings 4:42–44A man from Baal-shalishah came to the man of God with his sack full of twenty loaves of barley bread from the first bread of the harvest. Elisha said, “Give it to the people to eat.” But Elisha’s attendant asked, “What? Am I to set this before a hundred men?” “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said, “for this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat, and they will have some left over.’ ” So he set it before them, and as the Lord had promised, they ate and had some left over.”
So the people are utterly convinced
That Jesus is the messiah
however, Jesus understood this
he understood that the crowd had a limited view
of his full message
and they completely excluded
his real mission
his spiritual mission
they understood he healed thier sick
they understood their bellies were full
but they didn’t understand
that he would
have to suffer for sinners
die for us sinners
in order to offer what we really need
and that is forgiveness
that is why
as V 15 says
15 Therefore, when Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.”
Jesus understood their
profession in him was simply materialistic
They saw him work miracles
they saw him meet their earthly needs
I mean, he did everything
they could have possibly wanted him to do
he healed them and he fed them
what else could you want right…
I mean they saw in Jesus
one that would provide all they could ever want
they thought he would
provide food for their hunger
heal their sickness
Provide deliverance from their trials
comfort them from their sorrows
give them peace through their troubles
And give them victory over their enemies
They saw all of this in him and decided to make him king
have his establish his earthy kingdom
kick out the romans
and all would be well
right then
right now
But isn’t that exactly
what satan had offered to Jesus when he tempted him
a worldly kingdom
Matthew 4:8–11 “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. And he said to him, “I will give you all these things if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” Then the devil left him…
Jesus had already been offered this earthly kingdom
and trust me if Jesus was in this for the fame
for the fortune
for the accolaides
this was his time
he turned it down
because he was not of this world
his provision was not of this world
no… his provision
his kingdom
was and is spiritual
of course Jesus can and does provide for us
of course he helps us get through anything
as we will see soon
but that is not his biggest concern
his biggest concern
is NOT how we spend
our time in the temporal
his concern is with how
we spend our time
in the eternal
The material and the physical are only around for a short amount of time
our existence here is
but a blot
but a grain of sand in the timeline of eternity
but our spiritual life
that is what he is concerned with
our spiritual strength
our spiritual blessings
our faith
see, those things last forever
and that is what he is here to provide
But.. when your faith
when your spiritual life is based on the material world
when it is as we discussed last week
superficial and only
skin deep
then when times get tough
do you think we to lean in on God in faith
we will sink back to the level of our “training”
if based on superficial christianity
On material things
then we will not get far
Bothers and sisters
it is easy to follow God when times are good
when we are on the mountain top of life
when our bellies are full
when our needs are met
but… it is in the valley’s
it is in the storms of life
that we find out where our faith really is
See Jesus demands
that we deny oursleves
he demands that we
are seperated from this world
as a people set apart
and thats really hard to do when
we are engrossed with the world
when are part of it
and when we want to make our faith
look like it
This is why It says that Jesus withdrew from them
he knew where their hearts where
and wasn’t on Him as savior
it was on themselves
Jesus then
seeing this uprising
seeing this false worship
based on selfish ambitions
and political excitement of the people
understanding where this was
he dismissed the crowds
we see this
in Mark 6:45–46 “Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After he said good-bye to them, he went away to the mountain to pray.”
This mountaintop experience got the best of the
they were ready to take him by force
since he wouldn’t relent to be the king
but it didn't get the best of Jesus
he withdrew
he went further up the mountain to pray
went further up to talk to the father
while his diciples
went on ahead of him
down to the sea
which brings us to our second point of the morning

The Sea

John 6:16–19 “When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. Darkness had already set in, but Jesus had not yet come to them. A high wind arose, and the sea began to churn.
There is little doubt that the disciples were getting caught up
in all of this emotion
and commotion going on around
They had seen everything as well
and they were probably excited
they were ready for him to take his rightful
place as well
Jesus had taught them to pray for
God’s Kingdom
and it looked like it was finally here
However, Jesus knew the hearts of his diciples
and he knew the hearts of the crowd
he knew the differance between false disciples
and true disciples
and for that reason he sent
the 12 away
Matthew said he made the disciples get into the boat and
go ahead of him
Jesus didn’t want them involved with this
so he removed them from the situation
they didn’t understand why
but they obeyed him
and what do we see,
we will see that by obeying
him, it led them to more
by obeying Jesus it led them to
more fear
by obeying Jesus it led to a
possible near death experiance
well how does that work
these false diciples up here on the mountain
got their bellies fed and then that was it
but the disciples are thinking
we got our bellies full and now we must run away
to the sea
at night?
but, off they went
So we move from our mountain top experience down to the sea
to the valley if we will
and in the valley lies the sea of galilee
now last week we discussed the size of the lake
but we didn’t discuss the depth
The sea of Galilee lies nearly 700 feet
below sea level
and the way it is proportioned within
the mountains around it
some of the surrounding hills
rise abruptly 2000 feet above sea level
so we have this drop off of nearly
3ooo feet from the tops of the hills
or what us texans would call mountains
to the surface of the lake
which makes it
very subseptible to sudden
winds and storms
as this cooler air
rushes down the slopes
to the surface of the waters
and can thus create
very fast storms
unsuspecting storms
but these men were fisherman for the most part
they knew this sea
they were no strangers to sailing at night
we know that when Jesus called Peter
and his partners
they had just been out all night fishing
on this very sea
they knew how winds
would come come and go
they knew the prevailing winds would come in from
the east which is the side they were heading to
remember they were heading from the area of
Bethsaida where the 5000 were fed
to the capernaum shore
from east to west
that is why v19 says they were rowing
the couldn’t use thier sails with a headwind
so they had to row
ok, so here we have the diciples
they just got told by Jesus to leave the party early
it was late in the evening
so while Jesus is away praying
they got in the boats
and they are rowing
now Jesus is not with them
perhaps they were to meet him at a differant point
probably something they pre arranged
so while they were on their way
to meet Jesus
they encounter this storm
and this storm
and it must have been a divine storm
because these fishermen knew the sea
they were used to it
but this wind and storm
must have been bad enough to note
and by now it was dark
A high wind arose, and the sea began to churn.
and what does churning mean
it means to agitate
it means to mix up
it means to stir violenty
to make something liquid foam
so we have these high winds
coming in at their backs
as they are rowing into them
they have seas getting angry
causing thier boats
to rock back and forth
water to come over the sides
i mean the boats back in thier
days were probably 26’ feet long
and 7ish feet wide
not a huge vessel
so this boat is moving all over the place
now add in the darkness
not knowing which direction they were going
now knowing when the next wave would crash
not being able to prepare and counter any waves
just out there
in the dark
tired from all of the rowing
Mark tells us it is now well into the night
that they have been struggling with this storm
and after 6 to 9 hours (thanks again to Mark and Matthew)
they…had only
John 6:19 “After they had rowed about three or four miles
remember its only 5ish miles across the sea at this point
they are
Jesus, wouldn’t it have been easier to
just stay on the mountain
over at the shore
it was clear skies
it was peaceful
and now
I mean now we are in this situation
and your not around
and we got into this situation
because we were following you
we were obeying you
and now look
we are stuck in one of the biggest storms of our lives
at least in the last major storm they
went thhrough
Jesus was in the boat with them
but now as our text says
they knew that he was not
we have all been there right
caught in the storms of life
encountering troubles
financial hardships
I mean the list of the storms of life
is tremendously long
and these storms in life
cause us to fear
they cause us to have
emotional unheaval
and it is then that we
so quickly forget
in the darkness
in the storms
in the valleys
we can so quickly
the one that was there
in the light
the one that was there
during the calm blue skies
the one that was there on the mountain
and we forget the amazing things that he has done for us
yet that is exactly how our walk with God
how it grows
we go through series of life experiances
where we have ups and downs
mountains and valleys
times when we feel God’s Presence
and times when we feel like he is
no where around
and this my brothers and sisters
is what seperates
true diciples
from false disciples
see we will all go through the same
the same junk
the same trials and triblulations
and non believers and people of this world
but… when they are in darkness
when they are in storms
when they are valleys
they have noone to reach out to them
but us,
we have one that will walk on water
to save us
one that will
be nailed to a cross to save us
one that will
rise from the dead to secure us
and that,
no matter the trial or the storm
is something that we should never forget
and that is exactly how this story unfolds
the disciples were alone
they were left to fend for themselves
they had every reason to fear
and it is at that very point
when they most vulnerable
when they were on the verge of doubt
that they look up
and through the waves
and water
they see a figure walking to them
John 6:19–20 they saw Jesus walking on the sea. He was coming near the boat, and they were afraid.
Matthew tells us in
Matthew 14:26 “When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear.”
see they had this legend
that ghosts and supernatural beings
were the causes of a lot of hardships
they had legends of ghosts walking
on the waters
and that exatcly what they thought this
they thought Jesus was a ghost
and this caused their fear to multiply
and as he was coming to their boat
they must have thought
the end is near
which brings us to our final point of the morning

The Savior

John 6:20–21 “But he said to them, “It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him on board,
They had seen Jesus calm the storm once already
but like I said, he was in the boat with them
now as part of their teaching
as part of their growth
they had to face the storm
without him there in the boat with him
yet once again
he showed them is real power
and soverngty
as with this act he not only
stopped the storm
but he tamed it
by defying laws of
boyancey and everything else
by walking on the water
Lets turn quickly over to Matt 14:28.
and see what happens once the diciples realized who he was
Matthew 14:28–31 ““Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?””
we have good old Peter jumping out of the boat as well
and during this event
during this time that they saw
Jesus during the worst storm
of thier life
Peter had the faith
to walk on water also
as long as he had Jesus in his sights
as long as his eyes were on Jesus
during his storms
he was able to navigate them
and walk on that water
but what happened when he took his eyes
off of Jesus,
he once again became afraid
and began to sink
and what did Jesus do
he reached out his hand
and he caught ahold of him
And that is exactly what he will do for us
every single time
should we only set our eyes on
him during our trials
during out storms
and as Jesus and Peter
were climbing into that boat
Peter probaly soaking wet
and Jesus
well, I dont know
maybe he was wet
maybe he was dry
doesnt really matter
but did he say
Mark tells us Jesus said
Have Courage! It is I, Dont be afraid
and john leaves off the couragous part and just
It is I, Dont be afraid!
now lets not under play this short response from Jesus
He said... It is I
and with those 3 english words he essentially
said his first I am statment
it could even be translated as so
But he said It is I “I AM”
and he reminded his diciples
of who HE WAS
the Son of GOd
the possessor of all power
the possessor of all stregnth
the Lord over the heavens and the earth
the skies and seas
and reminded them of this before he
told them, dont be afraid
he is saying
dont focus on the fear
focus on me
and I will make the fear go away
and with this
matthew and mark tell us
the wind ceased
it stopped
as soon as the diciples
focused on christ in thier storm
as soon as they recognized
and remembered who he truly was
by he words he spoke
they were willing to take him into the boat
the storm stopped
right then and there
it didnt calm
it stopped.. Period
then matthew tells us
Matthew 14:33 “Then those in the boat worshiped him and said, “Truly you are the Son of God.””
and this is the same response we should have with Christ
when he delivers us from our storms
we are to fall before him
we are to worship him
and as they were worshipping him
if we look at this closely
we will see that this story of
Jesus walking on the water
actually included 4 miracles
we have Jesus walking on the water
we have Peter doing the same
we have the storm stopping
and then
John 6:21 and at once the boat was at the shore where they were heading.”


as we close this morning
lets think about how we approach Jesus
we saw on the mountain that
the israelites wanted to make Jesus
thier king by force
they wanted him to be thier
they would follow him
as long as he did what they wanted
him to do do
well brothers and sisters that is far
to rampet even in our
modern day fast food christianity
but let me warn you
that is not christianity at all
See the Jesus of the Bible
is no puppet
and if we come to him
telling him what we want
if we have a picture of jesus
that is a genie in a bottle
or someone that we can bargain with
in order to enter the kingdom
then we will be greatly mistaken
if we get offended by what he says
or if we only want to follow some of the things
He proclaims in his word while
denying or rejecting the others
then we simply want the kingdom
without the king
we want the liberty without
the liberator
we want all of the blessings
of Jesus without actually having to obey
and follow him
see if we want him to fix our problems
and provide us salvation
without truly becoming his
diciple and following him
then all we want is a puppet
king, just like that crowd on the mountain
if we put down our expectations
if we put away our requirements
if we let go of any strings that are attached
to the material world around us
and we follow HIM
then we will see he is so much more
he is so much greater
than we could have ever imagined
and that way, when the storms
of life happen
and we sink to our level of training
our level of faith
we will now for a fact
that Jesus will defy all odds
he will defy the laws of nature
to come for us
to reach out his hand
and say
It is I… Dont be afraid
Lets Pray
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