Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Jesus Walks On The Water
“And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.” (Mark 6:45-46)
Jesus had taken his disciples to the desert to give them a chance to rest and discuss what had happened when they went out to preach, much like doctors in teaching hospital holding a post mortem. When they arrived, the crowd had guessed where they were going and out run them, so they were unable to spend the time reviewing what had happened. Concerned for the people, Jesus insisted on feeding them before sending them home. Immediately after feeding them, he bundled the disciples into a small boat and told them to go to the other side of the sea. It was late afternoon, and the crowd would not be able to get clear around the lake before the disciples Got there.
After teaching for a little longer, Jesus dismissed the multitude to go home and rest for a while. He then went up on a nearby hill to pray. One of the most effective tricks Satan uses is to get us so busy we don’t have time to stop and pray or spend time with the Lord, because, as we are so often told, “The king’s business requires haste.” As a result we end up wasting a lot of our energy, when time spent talking with God and reading his word would give us a more effective approach.
“And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled.” (Mark 6:47-50a)
The disciples were rowing against the wind and about dusk, Jesus could still see them. He started walking to them and early the next morning, before daylight, he caught up with them. When they saw him walking on the water in the dark, they thought it must be some kind of ghost or evil spirit and began to try to fend him off, whether by praying or by some superstitious ritual.
“And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.” (Mark 6:50b-52)
Jesus spoke up and let them know it was him and that they had nothing to be afraid of. It was at this point Peter went to meet him on the water, although Mark doesn’t mention it. When he got into the ship with them, the wind stopped and they got to other side in short order. Because they were not thinking about the miracle of feeding the five thousand the day before, the disciples were amazed again by his power. They still had a sinful human attitude that made it hard for them to believe.
“And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore. And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him, And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was. And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole. “ (Mark 6:53-56)
When they landed near Gennesaret, the people recognized him and spread the word throughout the region. People began to bring the sick to be healed. Knowing he was coming, they brought the sick into the streets of every community, begging him to heal them, or trying to touch his clothing because everyone who touched him was healed.