However we explain it, re-interpret it, or dismiss it, in this sign Jesus means us to see the Elisha connection [2K4:42-44]. To fail to recognize how Jesus re-figures & transcends Moses, Elijah, & Elisha, is to fail to recognize Jesus. Full stop. The people make the connection in v.14.
Jesus' perception that they want to make him king by force raises issues for us. Are there ways we &/or the church try to impose Jesus on people as their king by force, subtle or not so subtle? If we identify that going on, give it up! Jesus himself rules it out. God's Rule comes only through willing, loving relationship. God doesn't impose himself on us. Jesus doesn't. Why would we try that game?
The very idea of kingship doesn't go down well with the many for whom monarchy is an unattractive, even failed concept. The other side of this coin, though, is that God isn't a democrat. We don't get to vote for God. (Other than by our acceptance of his pre-existing Rule.) How can we make the given- ness of God's Rule so attractive that others want to accept it? Voluntarily. The only tried & true way is to ourselves become a sign of God's unconditional compassion by which he would rule the world.
The incident on the lake is another of those we accept, re-interpret, or dismiss. It's not referred to here as a sign, but whatever we make of the walking on water bit, surely the whole incident is a sign, a dramatisation of God confronting the forces of Chaos & bringing them under control as 'In the beginning....'. Here, "In a new beginning.....'. Still by far the most chaotic force that attacks us & would destroy us is fear under one guise or another. Jesus' compassionate presence & loving action on the lake is a dramatic sign of what (another?) JN writes in 1JN 4:18 - 'There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear....'
Jesus, as God, always demonstrates what love is all about. Would that
we, 'made perfect' in love would do the same among all those today engulfed
by hunger & swamped by fear. And show Who Rules! And how!