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God’s Presence With Us

January 1, 1970 | by

The account of Jesus walking on the Water in John’s Gospel is deeper than it looks on the surface. John’s original audience would have been attuned to the story’s echoes of Old Testament stories and New Testament metaphors. If we read the story with these in view, it’s really about God’s presence with us.

The first story we need to keep in view is creation. Jesus’ presence on the water bears a striking similarity to the presence of God over the water in Genesis 1:2. And a second story is also important. In the Exodus, God delivers his people allowing them to walk through water. This is similar to Jesus’ walking on the waters. In addition, Mark’s use of the boat as a metaphor for the church was likely familiar to John’s audience.

When we re-read John’s story with these other stories in view, we can see that John intends for us to see this as a comment on God’s presence with us. God means for us to understand that we need his presence to accomplish our goal. He means for us to understand that Jesus is God with us. And he wants us to know that as we do his will, he is present with us, protecting us.


  1. If it’s so easy to do church without Jesus, how do we make sure we aren’t excluding him from our church’s life?
  2. If the Jesus’ revealed in the Gospel is really the true picture of God, in what ways do my mental concepts of God need to change?
  3. Are there things that God calls us to do that we shy away from because we’re not sure if he will protect us while we are doing them?


I Am the Messiah

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