John 6:21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.
There is a miracle listed in this verse that is often gone unnoticed. Israel’s largest lake, the Sea of Galilee is approximately 8 miles wide (13 km). All three accounts, Matthew, Mark and John, identify that the boat was about middle of the lake when Jesus came upon the scene, walking on water.
This story has been the foundation of many great messages:
- Jesus came at the right time.
- We fight storms while Jesus walks on them.
- Peter walked on Jesus’ words “come.”
- Fear cause Peter to double or think twice.
- Peter knew where to call for help when it was needed.
These are all great messages of encouragement or instruction. But there is a single word that John has chosen to use. It is the word “immediately.”
This word in the original language is used 80 times in scripture. If you type in the word into a search such ashttp://bible.crosswalk.com it is amazing to see all of the times it was used to describe the healings of Jesus. Most of those healings were instant, immediate.
John had a special target group with a goal in mind while he was writing his account. His purpose was not to tell of the life of Jesus but to give account as to the evidence of Jesus being the Messiah to nonbelieving Jews. Now an elderly man and one of the few still living who knew Jesus, he chose his words carefully to be clear on the power and authority of Jesus.
Matthew and Mark both paint a picture of moving on with business once Jesus calmed the storm. They glided over a small detail that John was not about to let go unnoticed.
How do you “immediately” get to land when there are 3 to 4 miles yet to cover in a boat? The original readers understood what John was saying. Not only was it a miracle that Jesus walked on water. Not only was it a miracle that Peter also walked on water through the authority of Jesus. Not only was it a miracle that the storm stopped. But, it was also a miracle that the boat transported from the middle of the lake to land “immediately.”