Nestled into Matthew 14, Mark 6 and John 6 you will find similar accounts regarding Jesus’ miracle of walking on water. However, right before that wondrous walk, something took place that is subtly written about, yet powerful to ponder. Let’s take a closer look at what transpired right before Jesus met up with His disciples on the Sea of Galilee from three of the gospel accounts.
In Matthew 14:23 it says, “And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.” Mark records it this way, “And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray” (Mark 6:46). While John says, “Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone” (John 6:15).
I personally, am partial to the way John states the events over the other authors for several reasons. First, because we see that Jesus would not be controlled by the multitude. They wanted their will for Jesus and as soon as He realized what they wanted, He immediately departed for the mountains to pray, alone. The second thing I see is Jesus wanted to be with His Heavenly Father, more than anyone else, including His disciples. Third, John includes the word “again.” That word, “again,” is noteworthy. Jesus who was fully man, yet fully God, went “again” to pray.
As believers, there are some important principles we can learn from this event. We all know prayer is a powerful and necessary aspect in our walk with the Lord but sadly it seems nothing gets us to our knees faster than when we “perceive” something has gone wrong. Jesus modeled for us in this verse where to turn in our time of need. I’m confident that Jesus was constantly in communication with His Father but this situation needed some immediate prayer. Jesus knew where to turn and so should we.
When was your last quality prayer time?
Do you wait to pray until there is something urgent? Why?
Praying with others is encouraged in the Bible but there are times that we should also pray alone. Jesus demonstrated that He prayed alone many times. Jesus needed clear direction and so He sent the multitudes away as well as His disciples. Do you ever wonder what Jesus and God discussed that night on the hilltop overlooking the Sea of Galilee? My guess would be that Jesus was confirming God’s plans for Him as well as what was coming for the disciples on the lake below. When we pray, God can give us insights we would never get on our own. He desires that we come and speak with Him alone so He can share with us what only He knows.
Why is prayer alone important?
How does Jesus’ example encourage you to spend one on one time with God in prayer?
I don’t know if the word “again” in John 6:15, struck you like it did me, but I cannot help but state the obvious. The word “again” means that it was not a one-time event for Jesus. He went again. If Jesus needed to go multiple times to God in prayer, what does that say about our need for prayer since we are mere mortals?
Do you hesitate to go “again” to God in prayer?
If so, take a look at Luke 18:1-8
As Jesus concluded His time in prayer, He headed down the mountain and was ready to do all that God was calling Him to do including a really awesome miracle. Prayer empowers us to do what God is asking of us. We need to be diligently carving out time in our day to meet with the Lord so we are ready for whatever is coming ahead. Don’t allow the enemy to rob you of this blessing. Make the time today to sit with the Lord and talk together.