When Jesus Walked On Water

When Jesus Walked On Water

When Jesus walked on water, he both frightened and amazed his disciples. The story is recorded in Matthew 14:33-36; Mark 6:45-56; John 6:16-24. Here are some lessons it teaches us today.

When Jesus walked on water. The storms of life can shake your faith and fill you with fear.

After feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus sent his disciples off in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee and he went off alone to pray. Later in the night, a storm arose and the disciples struggled in the boat against strong winds and waves. So Jesus walked out to them on the water.

Was this an impulsive, original idea by Jesus? Maybe not.

  • You alone stretched out the heavens and trampled on the waves of the sea. (ESV, Job 9:8)
  • Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? (ESV, Job 38:16)
  • Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. (ESV, Psalm 77:19)

These passages indicate Jesus had previous water walking experience, perhaps during creation, and this was just another casual sea stroll to demonstrate his divinity. Although when the disciples saw Jesus they thought he was a ghost and it frightened them even more. At least until Jesus spoke and they recognized his voice.

Isn’t this true for us? The storms we encounter in life shake our faith and cause fear? But notice, Jesus didn’t wait for the disciples to cry out for help. He saw their distress and went to their aid. It’s reassuring to know he takes the initiative on our behalf too.

When Jesus walked on water. Follow Jesus and you might get in over your head.

You have to love Peter. A guy who acts first and thinks later. He does at least recognize he can only walk on the water by Jesus’ power. And give him credit as the only disciple brave enough to get out of the boat. He does great at first while he focuses on Jesus. But then he begins to think about it. Second guess himself. Focus on his circumstances rather than Jesus. And begins to sink.

Although once again, Jesus grabs on and pulls him to the surface. And it wouldn’t be the last time Peter’s impulsive behavior led him into choppy waters. It’s a familiar story for us too. When difficult circumstances test our faith we tend to focus more on the circumstances than on Jesus. And may feel like we’re in over our heads.

But even when it feels like you are alone and abandoned, you’re not as David reminds us.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (ESV, Psalm 46:1)

In fact, God does HIs best work through us when we acknowledge our weakness and call on Him for strength. And when God demonstrates His power through our weakness, we are more likely to give Him the glory.

When Jesus walked on water. When you provide the faith, Jesus delivers the power.

Jesus chastised Peter for his little faith. But maybe with a smile? Because Peter demonstrated faith through his actions.

And this is exactly what Jesus’ half-brother talks about in James 2:14-26.

You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (ESV, James 2:18)

James isn’t saying to demonstrate good works to earn salvation. He’s telling Christ-followers now that you’re saved by grace through faith, you should demonstrate that faith by your actions.

Exactly what Peter is doing!

Of course, it wasn’t Peter’s first miracle rodeo with Jesus. He had just witnessed Jesus feed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Watched him command a lame man to pick up his bed and walk. Lazarus to wake up from the dead and come out of the tomb. And many others.

Yes, faith is important and Jesus said we only need faith the size of a mustard seed to move a mountain. And so too, is the importance of prayer. But the lesson in this story is the importance of remaining focused on Jesus. Because even as people of faith, the storms of life make that difficult.

But when Peter’s faith failed in the middle of the storm, he called out to Jesus who pulled him from the swirling waters. And we can trust God’s faithfulness. He will do the same for us.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group?

Check out Philippians Bible Study For Individuals and Groups.

Moses And His Path To Godly Leadership

Moses And His Path To Godly Leadership

Moses and his path to Godly leadership. Although Moses became a great Jewish leader, he and God disagreed on the timing for it. When Moses thought he was ready, God didn’t. When God thought he was ready, Moses didn’t. Here’s how they finally agreed in the story recorded in Exodus chapters two through five.

When Moses was born, the Egyptian king had a Hebrew baby alert in effect. Kill all male babies. The Hebrew midwives were tasked with the order, but refused to carry it out. So Moses survived his birth. And when his mother could no longer hide him, she put him in a floating basket among the reeds along a river bank where the Pharaoh’s daughter bathed. She found the basket, adopted Moses, and raised him as her own.

Moses and his path to Godly leadership. God considers pride a disqualification

The rest of Israel was enslaved, but Moses enjoyed a privileged lifestyle. You can imagine the jealousy this caused. They suffered while Moses enjoyed the best education and training Egyptian royalty afforded. Not to mention all the right power connections. So from a human perspective, Moses was uniquely qualified for leadership.

Apparently, he thought so too.

One day he intervened as an Egyptian beat a Jewish man. He killed the Egyptian and hid the body, demonstrating his sympathetic cause with the oppressed Jews. But when he intervened the next day as two Jewish men quarreled, they turned on him. Was he going to kill them too? Moses realized the Jews didn’t see him the way he saw himself.

Of course, that’s how pride works. You’re blind to what everyone else clearly sees in you. And God rejects it from godly leaders. Moses decided he might be in danger when the Pharaoh learned what he had done.

So he demonstrated his first courageous act of leadership and ran for his life.

Moses and his path to Godly leadership. God looks for willingness and a spirit of humility

Moses sought refuge a long distance away among the Midianites who were related to the Israelites. While resting at a well, he came to the aid of seven sisters there to water their flock of sheep. They invited him to their home for dinner and he ended up staying and marrying one of the sisters.

Forty years later while tending his flock, God appeared to Moses in a burning bush and called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. But he was now 80 years old. His youthful brashness and ambitions were gone. He had fully embraced the humble life of shepherding. He was settled. You’d expect that of an 80 year old. Time to slow down. No new adventures needed. But God was just warming up. And after Moses rattled off a list of disqualifying excuses that God ignored, he finally submitted to God’s will.

It’s an important lesson for us today. There is no retirement from serving God. Especially when God gives you an assignment. Nor is it about your qualifications. Because God’s interest is not in your ABILITY but AVAILABILITY.

You provide the willingness and God provides the way

Somewhere along the journey into humility Moses also lost confidence. Why? Maybe his youth and energy was spent. His Egyptian training forgotten after 40 years of non-use. His influence among the Israelites in Egypt dissipated.

And even worse, God called on him to demonstrate his greatest weakness–Public speaking.

But that is exactly God’s strategy throughout the Bible and today as well. Because it’s when you’re out of your league and beyond your capabilities that God does his best work. And why God uses our greatest weakness to bring him glory. He wants us to rely on him and give him the credit.

As Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, God gave him all he needed. Demonstrating miracle after miracle on the journey out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and to the border of the promised land.

Have you ever had experiences like that? When God gives you jobs beyond your capabilities? I have. They’ve been my greatest fear and greatest blessing. And by the grace and power of God, I will keep pressing on. I pray you do too.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

Looking for a Bible Study for yourself or small group?

Check out Philippians Bible Study For Individuals and Groups.

What’s The Mind Of Christ?

What’s The Mind Of Christ?

What’s the mind of Christ? Because the apostle Paul claims to have it in 1 Corinthians 2:11-13. Do you? And if so, what does it mean? Here are some thoughts to consider.

Your perspective, attitudes, and behaviors originate and incubate in your mind. So the prevailing content there plays a major role on the actions that follow. The mind of Christ directs you towards actions that honor God.

What’s the mind of Christ? It’s the presence of God’s Spirit

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
(ESV, 1 Corinthians 2:11-13)

The mind of Christ comes with the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christ-follower. He enters your life when you ask Jesus Christ to be Savior and Lord. The Spirit’s indwelling presence conforms your desires to imitate Christ and align your thoughts with God’s thoughts as revealed in His word. It begins by demonstrating the same attitude as Jesus.

The natural person lacks this presence because the Spirit responds by invitation only. And the natural person is further handicapped because understanding spiritual truth requires spiritual discernment. And God’s Spirit is the discernment interpreter.

What’s the mind of Christ? It’s a perspective that makes seeking the Kingdom of God a priority

Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you as well. (ESV. Matthew 6:33)

The Kingdom of God is an eternal game changer for those who seek it first. Because it replaces eternal uncertainty with confidence. Rather than face death with anxiety, you’re filled with hope of an everlasting joy. And the anticipation of a forever future that is better than here and now.

It involves an agenda of selfless service rather than selfish indulgence. A counter intuitive expression of God’s love. Because when you seek the Kingdom of God, you care about what God cares about. Seek to know and follow His will. And form your perspective by filtering the messages of this world through the lens of scripture.

It’s a mind on a purposeful, ongoing journey of transformation

Those with the mind of Christ focus on thoughts that honor God. They study God’s word and follow His precepts. But recognize that sinful failure is inevitable in this world, Fortunately, the mind of Christ is renewable. And is spiritually restored through confession and repentance.

It’s a purposeful journey of discipleship that starts and stops, rises and falls, advances and retreats. Fueled by faith and driven by trust and obedience. Always pursuing but never arriving in this life. A journey travelled with other disciples in community that forms itself in the image of Christ. Navigating all the struggles and difficulties this world presents. But pressing on with the promises and power of God.

Because God’s grace cannot be subverted. His mercy won’t be denied. And His Kingdom will prevail. FOREVER.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

What Does It Mean To Be Born Again?

What Does It Mean To Be Born Again?

What does it mean to be born again? When Jimmy Carter ran for president in 1976 he called himself a “Born Again” Christian. But Jesus first used the term in his conversation with Nicodemus recorded in John 3:1-21. Here are some thoughts on what it means for us today.

What does it mean to be born again? It means you recognize there’s an entrance requirement to heaven a lot of people are missing

V. 3 …unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.

The term “born again” was a new idea when Jimmy Carter used it and it was new for Nicodemus too. His confused reaction proves it. Probably because he assumed he already met those qualifications. After all, he was a faithful Jew. Even better, a faithful Pharisee. But Jesus throws him a curve ball by saying that something else is involved.

The whole “born again” idea confuses people today as well. They assume if you believe in God and Jesus, maybe attend church and do good things it makes you a Christian. But here, Jesus says that is not enough. It actually involves a second birth.

What does it mean to be born again? It means you understand there are two different kinds of birth

V. 5 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 

Jesus presents a spiritual idea that Nicodemus doesn’t even recognize as a spiritual idea. A bit ironic don’t you think? Here he is, an expert teacher in the Jewish religion, completely baffled by what Jesus says. He asks Jesus if he is talking about a physical birth.

He had to know that was not what Jesus meant. But Nicodemus was so blind to his own spiritual need, and so unaware of that blindness, he could not even consider the possibility that his spiritual life was missing something. What was Jesus talking about?

Jesus clarifies it in John 3:6-8 by talking about two births: a physical one and a spiritual one. And what Nicodemus lacks is spiritual.

There’s a similar spiritual blindness affecting people today. Rather than concede their good and virtuous acts are not what Jesus is looking for, they simply ignore this passage.

Jesus must be talking about the jerk who lives down the road. But look closer. He’s talking about all of us.

It means you believe in and follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord

V. 14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

Jesus chastises Nicodemus as a teacher for his lack of understanding, but then patiently reminds him that he came to sacrifice himself on a cross. And it makes you wonder. Why did Nicodemus not know this? Because Isaiah prophesized extensively about what the Messiah would suffer.

And the answer for Nicodemus is probably similar to many people today. It’s because we form our religious beliefs around our own opinions and lifestyles rather than the truth of scripture. The Bible consistently teaches about the existence of sin. And the result of sin is spiritual death. And that is an unpleasant thought we’d rather not face.

But Jesus suddenly switches to the positive. And rather talk about death he promises life with probably the best known and quoted scripture in the entire Bible.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 

And that is what it means to be BORN AGAIN.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

A Study of Philippians 4:10-13

A Study of Philippians 4:10-13

A study of Philippians 4:10-13 reveals that contentment is learned, involves a learning process of experiencing a little and a lot, and that God strengthens you for all things.

A study of Philippians 4:10-13 reveals that contentment is learned

V.11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 

The drive to accumulate things can consume us. Fueled by the desire for pleasure, ease, and comfort. It quickly becomes greed with an insatiable appetite. And it begs the question: how much is enough? When will I find contentment?

And Paul’s answer might surprise you. Because you don’t find contentment. You learn it.

Of course, the Bible doesn’t condemn hard work or the accumulation of wealth. In fact, wealth in scripture is often associated with God’s blessing. So where does contentment fit in?

The Greek word for “content” is autarkēs and means both content and sufficient.

In Greek stoic philosophy, contentment was considered something you passively accepted. Since your circumstances are part of God’s will, you might as well accept them in resignation. But Paul takes another approach.

A study of Philippians 4:10-13 reveals that the learning process involves experiencing a little and a lot

v.12 I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

Paul experienced times when he had very little and times when he had a lot. And it was an extreme, education curriculum. Because he was beaten, whipped, thrown in prison, and shipwrecked to name a few difficult experiences. And right now you’re probably saying if that’s what it takes to learn contentment, I’d rather remain ignorant.

However, maybe your learning process can avoid those extremes. And involve self-discipline instead. One simple decision my wife and I made early in our marriage was to pay off our credit card bills each month and not build consumer debt. This made us control our spending and say no to some purchases. And we learned to either wait until we had the money or live without some things.

We also learned to express an attitude of gratitude. And regularly thank God for His provision. The more you do, the more it takes root in your heart.


What are some lessons you’ve learned about contentment? Describe the circumstances. Where do you still struggle and explain why? What disciplines should you consider or adjustments should you make?

A study of Philippians 4:10-13 reveals that God strengthens you for all things

V.13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

The Greek word for strengthen is ĕndunamŏō, and means to empower, enable, increase in strength, and make strong

A unique feature of the Christian faith is that it admits human weakness. No one has it all together. Or is completely self-reliant. And to pretend you are is either an attempt to fool others or fool yourself.

Even the great men of faith admitted their inadequacies. David cries out for help and identifies where it comes from in Psalms 121. Solomon talks about the importance of supportive friends. And Paul explains how God’s power is demonstrated through his weakness.

There are times we all need the support of others. And it’s okay to ask for it.

Where do you need God’s strength right now? James 4:2 reminds you it’s important to ask. So take a moment and ask God to provide the strength for what you’re encountering.

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About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.