Mark: According to
Walking on Water
As we have often seen before, Mark uses the word “Immediately” and yes indeed what happened next did indeed happened immediately. “For 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.”
As He had so many times during His ministry on earth, Christ engaged in prayer, long hours of prayer. Prayer spent praying for others, for strength and wisdom, seeking the will of His Heavenly Father who had sent Him.
Let’s look at what has happened over the last few chapters, Jesus has healed the sick, raised people from the dead, He caused the waves of the sea and the very weather itself to obey his voice, and now from just five loaves of bread and two fishes he has fed a crowd of 5000 men, not counting women and children. So why is it that Jesus caused his disciples to leave for Bethsaida by boat and hurried the people away.
Perhaps he feared what I would be thinking if I was part of that crowd. Here is one that has the power to heal and feed armies, raise soldiers from the dead and direct the weather to the benefit of the Jewish forces and against the hated Roman empire. If those about Him like me were thinking such thoughts, then it was indeed a dangerous situation. Oh, sure, it was Galilee, but the Romans still had their soldiers about, who were all too eager to report any possibility of hostility toward the government. Perhaps Jesus heard the whispers of the people or felt the mood of the people changing. His ministry could be cut short, so he sent the disciples and people away and then prayed that God’s will would be done.
Never had a command from Christ seemed so impossible of fulfillment. The disciples had long hoped for a popular moment to place Jesus on the throne of David and now they could not endure the thought that all this enthusiasm should come to nothing. The Passover was coming and what a perfect time for Jesus, and this crowd to march into Jerusalem. Imagine, Jesus on the throne of David.
But Jesus commanded them to push off from shore and go back to Bethsaida, the proud disciples saw their long hoped-for chance slipping away.
It was still light when the disciples had departed by boat for Bethsaida and: “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.”
I have always disliked the fact that the disciples seemed to account for this being walking upon the water as a ghost, until I looked at the original Greek, where it calls this a “Phantasma” which is the appearance of something that could not be accounted for on the basis of natural Phenomena.
What is it they could not account for, it was the fact that this being they did not immediately recognize was walking, yes walking upon the water. Never before had any of them seen someone or something walking upon the water and consequently their senses were unsure how to process the information, but finally they recognized it was Jesus.
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.” Then he went 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.
Their hearts were hardened in the fact that they failed to understand the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. The purpose of the loaves and fishes was that Christ can supply your every need, which was reinforced by Jesus walking on the water and then getting into the boat. When this happened the wind and waves ceased, and the sea became calm. When we finally let Jesus into our lives, the storm raging around us that we feel is about to drowned us, becomes calm, like a sea of glass. This does not mean that from that point forward we will never have troubles, but it does mean that Christ is there to sustain us and supply our daily needs.
Christ never came to set up a kingdom to rule over the Romans, instead He came to set up his kingdom in the hearts of all those that accepted Him as the Messiah. By faith, we can look upon the death of Christ realizing that He became one like us, by becoming like the one that had caused the sin problem to spread throughout all humanity, and that someone was Adam. Christ is the second Adam and by being lifted up upon the cross, and we, by looking upon Him and His death then we by accepting his atoning sacrifice by faith that we too might share in victory over of the penalty of death. And what is death? Why of course death is total and complete separation from God.
But all the disciples and all the people could think of is the coming Messiah, not to save us from sin, but to save them from the power of the Roman Empire.
Today, when we look upon Christ, what do we see. We should see a conquering hero that won the victory over sin, and yet stands knocking at the door of our heart, waiting for us all to open the door so that He can enter into our hearts to change our hearts from hearts of stone, to hearts of flesh, where the king of glory resides, and people can see Christ living out through us. Then like the twelve baskets of leftover food that was given to the people to share with family and friends, we can share Christ and his healing and saving power with others.