Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mark 6:45-52 Jesus Walks on the Sea

45 Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. 46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. 49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 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.” 51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. 52 For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.

Having miraculously fed the five thousand Jesus makes haste in sending the disciples ahead of Him, to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself dismisses the multitudes. And with the multitudes departure Jesus’ Himself departs to the mountain to pray. Jesus’ haste in sending the disciples ahead of Him seems just for that purpose so that He might spend time in prayer alone. Now when evening came the disciples were in the middle of Sea of Galilee while Jesus was still on land (vs. 47). Yet it was from there that Jesus saw the disciples straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Though Christ was not physically present with the disciples yet His eyes were still on His disciples, as the Scriptures say:

“The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
Keeping watch on the evil and the good.” Prov. 15:3

Jesus than had not forgotten about the disciples whom He sent ahead of Him. In fact He was watching them, and He was fully aware of their circumstances though it is highly unlikely they were aware of this, as the current crises likely consumed their thoughts just as it so often does our own. Now the Scripture says “…about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.” vs. 48 Notice that Jesus came to them; He didn’t leave them to their own devices He came to them, not sailing in a boat, but walking on the stormy Sea of Galilee making His Presence known to them to reassure them, though not immediately going to them. Now this took place at the “fourth watch” meaning between 3:00am and sunrise. Yet however fearful the disciples were of the storm tossed Sea Jesus Christ’s walking on the water seems to have frightened them even more, for when they saw Him they cried out thinking they had seen a ghost, though clearly that was not His intention. But rather to make Himself known to them as God, the God who both saves men from their perilous circumstances, but also the God whose Person, Authority and Power supplants all forces and powers. Christ’s walking on the water here than is not some sort of explainable natural anomaly. It is a supernatural occurrence of the Presence of God coming to His own. If you remember the last incident where the disciples found themselves in similar peril it was with Jesus inside the boat with them as the tempest tossed sea caused them to fear for their lives, though Jesus Himself slept quietly until they awoke Him and cried out to Him, than He rebuked the winds and the Sea with a Word. Here though Jesus is outside of the boat walking on the water, which when the disciples exhausted and tired observe Him doing so cry out thinking they have seen a ghost. It’s a natural response to a supernatural occurrence. Therefore with their fearful cry Jesus immediately talks with them and says to them …“Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Vs. 50 Assuring them it was He who was with them and had come to them. And with that Jesus went up into the boat with them and the wind ceased. Notice that when Jesus went up into the boat the wind ceased, for that is where Jesus caused the wind to cease before, from inside the boat with His disciples, indicating that He is personally involved with us in all our circumstances of life. And with that the disciples were greatly amazed beyond measure (vs. 51), “For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.” Vs. 52 From His position on the Sea than Jesus showed Himself Lord of it, while from His position in the boat He showed Himself Savior of them. The lesson being whether in Bodily Presence or not our God is greater than whatever forces on earth or in hell may seek to overthrow or unsettle us. He is not subject to any forces of man, nature or anything else, but all things are subject to Him. Though the winds and storms of this life may at times impede, trouble, or frighten us yet our God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will not allow them to undermine His eternal plans and purposes for us. Jesus Christ the Lord will lead us who believe in Him safely home.

Scripture Quotations
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

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