John 6:21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.

Some preachers believe that this was a miracle. Was it?


This is an important question because it goes the peculiar use of Koine Greek idiom.

Thge Greek adverb of time, εὐθέως (eutheós), clearly means, "at once, immediately" (BDAG). However, this does NOT mean, as per modern idiom, that it happened instantly. It simply means that it occurred without further delay. Here are some examples of things that clearly occurred over the space of either an hour or more (or even longer) that are described with this adverb:

  • Matt 21:2 - the disciples are told to go to the village and "immediately" they see a a donkey = the next thing as you walk into the village
  • Matt 25:15 - the rich man "immediately took his journey" does not mean that he arrived at his destination but he started on that journey after distributing the talants
  • Mark 1;21 - "immediately went to the synagogue", that is, after leaving the boat Jesus walked straight up to the synagogue, without teleportation, etc. The walk possibly lasted 10 or 20 minutes(?)
  • Mark 1:28 - news "immediately" spread throughout the region - this process probably took a few days which is why most versions translate it, "quickly" - news traveled fast!
  • Mark 1:29 - left the synagogue and arrived at Simon and Andrew's house = went straight there a walk of unknown duration but without any suggestion of teleportation
  • Mark 4:5 - seed sprang up "immediately" - most versions correctly render this case as "quickly", probably over the space of a few weeks.

Thus, in John 6:21, I would understand the boat arrived "immediately" at the shore as indicating they went straight there in agreement with Matthew and Mark's account - no suggestion of teleportation etc. The arrival was without delay and the next thing that happened.


John 6:21 says “immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.”

It is either teleportation, or John has a theory that to will to be with Jesus is to be at the land where you are going. It is to be truly present. I think the story is far more powerful if understanding jesus pulls you out of the past and out of the future and grounds you now.

It makes everywhere you are equal to where you are going. That seems way more powerful than imputing teleportation powers on Jesus.

The knowledge of good and bad (Eden) is the fruit of how things should be different, not how they are. That knowledge is the fruit that Christ is the antidote to. At least that is my way of understanding freedom from sin.

Also, one walks on water when one’s ego evaporates. The ego is what Jesus identifies with in the garden (“I am”) and then kills on the cross in John 18-19. That is why he can “walk on water.” He is “empty” as in Philippians 2. Makes him float nicely. :)


Matthew 14:28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind,e he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

34And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.

According to Matthew, it wasn't so immediately.

  • that Matthew reported different details/had a different emphasis, doesn't mean to negate or disqualify another's recollections. It may still have been immediate, but his focus was on something else. – user48152 Jul 20 '20 at 1:17
  • Immediately relative to what events? It seems the only explanation is that John was summarizing some of the events in Matthew/Mark. – user21676 Jul 20 '20 at 5:15

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