The miracle of walking on water followed straight after the feeding of the five thousand. The miraculous multiplication of bread and fish was supposed to teach the disciples a message but it seems they hadn’t understood it. Mark 6:49-52 says:
“And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’ Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.”
But what had the disciples not understood? Had they not grasped that Jesus could perform creative miracles?
No. That was not in question. They knew that a miracle had taken place. But what they had not understood was the purpose of the miracle.
Jesus had placed the fish and bread in the hands of the disciples, and told them: “You feed them.” Each one of them had only had a few crumbs of bread and maybe a fin! But as they took them, they multiplied in their hands. They had not understood that Jesus was appointing them to work wonders and miracles.
Like the disciples, most of the time, we run on empty, or near-empty. Our hands seem too empty to feed the multitudes. But God has blessed what he has placed in our hands, and once we give it out, it multiplies.
Know who you are
When Peter saw Jesus do something, he wanted to do the same. When he saw Jesus curse the fig tree, he asked – if you read between the lines – “How did you do that? How can I do that?” And Jesus answered, “Have the faith of God.”
When Peter wanted to walk on water Jesus let it happen, as he wanted us to understand that we are all called to the ministry of the miraculous.
Stepping out of the boat is our story. It is who we are. We don’t want to stay in the boat. When we see what Jesus is doing, we want to be part of it.
When Jesus fed the 5,000, his purpose wasn’t only to feed the 5,000 hungry men and their families. No. His purpose was to demonstrate to the disciples the secret to supernatural living. When you give the little God has given you to others, it will multiply.
When we talk about the cell vision, we have to get our communication right. When we encourage people to take part in the vision and inspire them, we usually say: “Look at what we are doing! We are doing cells. And you need to be involved in this.” But when you try to argue, people will argue back.
But great leaders who inspire don’t start with what they do. They inspire by sharing the reason why they do it.
What is your why? Who are you?
Get rid of boat mentality
We are not those who stay in the boat. We don’t stay in the safe zone. We get out of our comfort zone to be where Jesus is.
The boat represents many things. It represents the majority and what they are doing. But we have been called to be adventurous for God. We have been called to be innovators.
The mentality of boat-sitters is that if people come to church on Sunday, that’s enough. The mentality in most of the western church is that only leaders have been called to minister and the rest can warm the pews. But we are all ministers – you and me! That is nothing short of a revolution.
The additional job of those separated for fivefold ministry of being apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors and evangelists is to equip the rest to do the work of Jesus Christ.
It is boat mentality when we think that all we need to do is to attract people. We try to attract people with great programmes, great teaching and great music. And then someone else opens a more ‘attractive’ church down the road!
The Church has become a marketplace, as churches compete with their service offerings. But this is consumer Christianity. Sure, we don’t want to be repulsive but Jesus was willing to dismiss the crowds when they had become mere spectators.
Be a radical disciple!
We have a missional church model. We do need to attract people to be able to send them to the mission field of London and the world, but our mission isn’t to build an entertainment zone for Christians.
Peter got it right. He wanted to go where Jesus was. And that is radical discipleship.
And that is why we have cells at KT. We have a passion for radical discipleship, and we want to see every church member out of the boat, living supernaturally for Jesus.
Yes, Peter sank. Many times when you step out of the boat you sink! Disciples aren’t perfect. But Peter sank only because he took his eyes off Jesus. But when your keep your eyes on Jesus you can walk on water. You can do the impossible.
We are an apostolic church, heaven-bent to see a major reformation come to the body of Christ – to have a mobilised body where consumer Christianity is a thing of the past. The vision is not cells. The cells are not the why. They are only what we do – but the purpose is to help every church member get out of the boat.
Step out of the ordinary into the extraordinary! Step out of an empty tradition into a living relationship with Christ! Dare to do things differently.
What is your boat? Often, you can step out of one boat and get onto another one! So easily, our accomplishment becomes our comfort. For example, we become comfortable with our spiritual gift. But if you are comfortable speaking I tongues, seek to interpret them. Seek to prophesy.
There is always one more step to take when walking on water with Jesus. You need obedience and faith to do that. You need to know who you are. And you need to know that anyone who walks with Jesus will always get to the right destination.
This is all supernatural. It is natural to want to stay in the boat. But the wind will remain contrary as long as you stay in the boat.
Peter sank. Like Peter, we are weak, frail, and fallible human beings. But the call has never been about us. It has always been about Jesus and about what he commands, and Jesus is inviting us to come and walk on water!