In Mark chapter 6 (after Jesus had fed the 5000) he told his disciples to get into the ship and go to to Bethsaidia, while he sent the people away.
When Jesus sent his disciples to Bethsaidia which in the Hebrew means house of grace he went into a mountain to pray.
In the evening (when the ship was in the middle of the sea) Jesus was watching his disciples from the shore. They were toiling to row the ship, because the wind was coming on really strong.
Around the fourth watch of the night Jesus came towards his disciples walking on the sea. He would have passed them by but the disciples saw him. They thought he was a ghost. They became troubled and cried out in fear.
Immediately Jesus reassures his disciples that it is him.
Then when Jesus gets into the ship with his disciples the wind calms down.
The disciples were amazed and wondered. They had forgotten about the last miracle Jesus did by multiplying the bread and fish.
It is interesting to note that on the 4th watch of the night Jesus looks out to the sea to find that his disciples are in trouble.
He had given them a word, “Go to Bethsaidia” but the enemy (who works in the darkness) tried to hinder their assignment.
Satan who is “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) caused a storm to rise up. It was so fierce that all the toiling the disciples were doing were getting them no where.
In Israel culture (as well as Roman and Greek) the night was divided into 4 watches. Each watch had a specific name and time frame.
The evening watch, was from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The midnight watch, from 9 p.m. to midnight. Cockcrowing from 12 am to 3 a.m., and the morning watch or 4th watch, was from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.
Exodus 14:24 last watch of the night
Psalm 63:6 watches of the night
Judges 7:19 middle watch
Mark 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning
Luke 12:38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
The fourth watch is the last watch of the night. In scripture breakthrough events many times happen on the night watches.
Moses led the Israelites across the Red Sea. Exodus 14:25-46
Jacob wrestled with God. Genesis 32: 22-31
The angels appear to the shepherds in the field to announce the birth of the Savior. Luke 2:8-14
Jesus is resurrected from the dead, Matthew 28:1
The bridegroom woos His bride in the night hours, Song of Solomon, Matthew 25:1-13
On this particular incident on the fourth watch of the night Jesus sees trouble occurring.
The prince of the power of the air is acting up. Trying to attack the Lord’s disciples.
Intercessors know that the fourth watch usually means warfare. It’s a time when the demonic powers are doing their oggie boogie through their human vessels.
Notice that Jesus sees on the forth watch of prayer that his disciples are in trouble.
This is one reason the Lord exhorts us to watch and pray. The enemy is always looking for a place to attack. If we are in prayer the Holy Spirit will show us trouble coming our way or someone else’s way.
When trouble comes and we find we are toiling in our own strength, (getting no where, when the enemy attacks) Jesus is walking on the water right there in front of us!
Water or waters in scripture many times represent people. Jesus is always in front of people. Always available. Always willing to calm the storm. However, many times we are so freaked out over the battle that when the Lord comes walking towards us we don’t recognize him. All we see is what the enemy is doing.
Notice how Jesus was going to walk right on by his disciples. Seriously? That’s what the scriptures tell us! That’s what happens when we are afraid. As long as our eyes are on the battle instead of the Lord Jesus Christ we will miss him, even though he is right there in front of us.
The good news is that if we look to Jesus he will calm the storm in our life. He will get in the boat with us! Jesus will calm our fears! He will rescue us from the attack of the enemy!
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water they mistook him for a spirit. They cried out in fear.
Fear can do strange things to the mind. Sees and hears all kinds of crazy things.
Even then the Lord can’t help but be merciful. When fear gets a hold of us by the throat Jesus will turn in our direction if we call out to him.
Hearing his disciples cry out in fear Jesus walks on the water towards them. When the disciples see that it is Jesus they are not afraid anymore.
Our struggles in life (like the disciples who rowed in their own strength against the wind) can be demonically inspired some times.
Facing great difficulty can be scary when it looks like we are going to drown but remember the Lord is watching us in our struggle. He knows what’s going on.
Jesus is right there in the midst of our trouble. All we have to do is cry out. He will not pass us by! He will get right in the boat with us and comfort us!
Jesus will always lead us to safely because his grace is sufficient. His word to us is always, “Go to Bethsaidia, “the house of grace.”
Our high priest ever lives to make intercession for us.
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16