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One of the questions that I have been pondering this week is this: Why does the account of Jesus walking on the water recorded in John NOT include some of the details that are included in Matthew and Mark? For instance…
- In both Matthew and Mark, when the disciples see something approaching them on the water they cry out thinking that it is ghost. This is not mentioned in John.
- In Matthew, after Jesus calms the disciples down, Peter asks Jesus to “tell me to come to you on the water” – and he gets out of the boat and starts walking.This also is not mentioned in John.
- In Matthew, after Jesus climbed in the boat and the wind died down, it is recorded that “those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Not in John.
- In Mark, after the wind died down, it says “They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.” Again, not in John.
It seems like John has a very stripped down version of what happened. My curious mind makes me wonder why?
What John does say, that the other gospels do not record, is that those who had been on the other side of the lake when Jesus fed the 5000 went “in search of Jesus” when they realized He was no longer in the area. If I were to give this gospel a name other than The Gospel According to John, I would probably call it “In Search of Jesus.” This is what is happening everywhere in this gospel. We saw it in chapter 1 with Andrew and Philip. We saw it in chapter 3 with Nicodemus. We saw it in chapter 4 with the woman at the well and the townspeople; and then later with royal official. We even saw it in chapter 5 with the Jews who were searching for Him to persecute Him. We saw it at the beginning of chapter 6 when the crowds showed up while Jesus was hanging out with His disciples. And we see it at the end of this pericope.
There is a sense in which all of our spiritual journeys can be called a search. But the great news of Christianity that separates it from all other faiths is that God is the One who searched us out first. He loved us, He wooed us, He called us – therefore our search is really just a response to the search that started with Him.
“Father, thank You for searching for me even when I was not searching for You. And for compelling me by Your amazing grace and magnanimous love to seek you out – knowing that You were waiting to be found.”
Next Week’s Passage: John 6:25-70