Friday, March 9, 2012

Mark 6:45-52

By Josh Taylor

In this passage Jesus walks on water! That’s right: just strolls out across water.

Why would he do this? In the Gospel of Mark we see that Jesus does a lot of miracles: he has just fed 5000 people with someone’s packed lunch. But what is the point of walking on the water? Is it just a cool trick? I must admit I would be rather impressed; it would certainly get your attention right?

Interestingly enough there are a few little details in this story that give us clues to what it's all about. V48 talks about Jesus walking on the water and says, “he intended to pass them by”. Does this mean Jesus didn’t feel like a chat so he was just going to stroll past them? Maybe there is a bit more to it. In the Old Testament when God reveals himself to people the language often use is the same language here for “pass by”. Remember the story where God “passes by” Moses (Exodus 33)

The disciples are afraid when they see Jesus walking on the water and he says to them “take heart, it is I, do not be afraid.” The phrase “it is I” in the Greek could be understood as “I am” which echoes the language of God to Moses when he reveals himself in the burning bush (Exodus 3).

To top it all of, the very fact that Jesus is walking on the water shows that he has power over the forces of nature, over creation itself. Here in this passage Jesus does things that only God does.

So, in sum:

This passage is more than a cool trick. Jesus walks on the water, “passing by” and announcing, “I am”. The message is clear: Jesus is divine!

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