Jesus walked on water!
Jesus walked on water!
Okay, Mark 6:45-51 is perhaps one of the craziest passages in the whole Bible! I've been meditating on it for a few days now, and I can't believe how much I've "missed" from the story. I'm sure we all know about the time when Jesus walked on water. But I've been challenged to "go deeper" and to really figure out what was going on. It's so invigorating to my heart to let my holy imagination get into the story and then to ask Jesus questions about it! So this post is just a splash of my thoughts and questions to Jesus on the passage.
“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. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 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. And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 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 up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.” (Mark 6:45-51 NKJV)
So Jesus just got finished feeding 5000 men (plus women and children, so perhaps there were 15,000 people needing to eat. That's a lot of people to feed!) and sent His disciples rowing across the sea of Galilee (which was probably about 10 miles across, depending upon the direction). After He sent them away, He goes off privately to pray.
What does Jesus do when He prays? Does He like to sit or stand? Does He like to close His eyes? Does He smile a lot? What does He feel? Did He cry a lot?
Mark then writes "when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land."
How long did Jesus spend praying? What did He pray about? Did He get hungry in the woods when He was praying? Where did He find food or water for the hours He was there? Did He even need food during that time?
What did Jesus think about when He was alone? Did He form habits as all humans do? What were some of them? Did He sing to His Father when He was alone? What did His singing voice sound like?
Verse 48 is a miracle in and of itself. Mark writes "He saw them straining and rowing, for the wind was against them." Now wait a minute - if Jesus was on the land and the boat was in the middle of the lake, perhaps about 5 miles out, How did Jesus see them straining from that distance? That's crazy!
Mark goes on: "Now about the fourth watch of the night [about 3am] He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by." It was evening just one verse ago, but now it's 3am... Were these trained fisherman rowing hard all that time?
How long did it take Him to walk 5 miles on water? Was He having fun taking each step? Did Jesus smile as He was approaching the boat?
Was Jesus just going to keep on walking past them if they had not cried out? Was He just having fun with them?
Mark continues: "And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 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.'" Being troubled... That's probably an understatement!
What must have the wearied disciples really thought when they saw Him? Did they think they were going to perish? When did they recognize that it was Jesus? What was Jesus thinking when He saw them "troubled"? How did He feel?
Mark concludes with: "Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure and marveled." That's gotta be another understatement!
Did Jesus say anything to calm the winds or was it just His thoughts that did it? Or did the Father do it? Why did He choose to walk on the water instead of just appear to them or meet them on the other side of the sea?
Jesus is a real human being. He is God in the flesh. These stories are in here not so that we would just read them and say "oh cool, that's nice". I want to know Him, and these stories are in here for us to dialog with Him and ask Him about them! I've been taking the questions like the ones above and making them personal, turning them into prayer and asking Jesus about them. Whether I will have the answers to them in this life or the next I'm not sure... All I know is that it's fun to wonder!
We're all going to be amazed by Jesus and everything He'll do in the age to come. But how much more will we be amazed by Him if we give ourselves to meditation on what He already did? I want to spend decades wondering what He did in all the times the gospel writers "left out" the details. The measure that I stand in awe of Him now determines the measure that I will stand in awe of Him then. There's a Man in the pages of the gospels with a real personality, with real habits, with real likes and dislikes, and with such an "earthy" dimension that is just waiting to be discovered by the hungry heart!