Light and Dark- Jesus Walking on the Water

Matthew 14: 25, Mark 6: 48, John 6: 16, Luke 9: 10

The timeframe of this story in Jesus’ ministry and the setting of this event are very important. The dark part is easily shown, it is the light part that I am going out on a limb with so please bear with me.  The mighty wonder of Jesus walking on water occurs right after the miraculous feeding of the 5000 men + women and children. It occurs on Lake Galilee during one of the frequent storms that happen on the lake.  Mark and Matthew tell us it happened during the fourth watch of the night. This Hebrew term places it after 3 a.m. and before sunrise (In Roman terminology it was the 3rdwatch.)  A dark stormy night

Rembrandt Storm on Galilee

in the middle of a lake, how did they see the “ghost”.  John said they “saw Jesus” your eye works off of light, where did it come from?

I think Jesus brought His own light or His angel was lighting the way!  We all glow with infrared-light and in just a little while He would shine with His glory in the Transfiguration. The disciples were “straining” at the oars not looking around on a pleasant sail across Galilee.  This entire episode carries many things in common with the Exodus – bread and fish (manna and quail) and possible “pillar of fire by night” (Jesus). In just a few months He will be going to Jerusalem to die.  How better to focus His disciples for the days ahead?

Studying this event, in its placement on the timeline of Jesus’ ministry definitely shows that preparations for His death and the Church He was founding were underway.  There are three major events that will help you see this:

  1. Jesus sent out the Twelve on their first solo mission trip.
  2. The Demonic of Gadarenes was healed and also sent out as an evangelist.
  3. John the Baptist, the greatest Old Testament prophet, is killed by Herod.

I studied Jesus as the Master Teacher and saw in the Gospel of Mark a learning cycle with a reteach sequence.  Jesus’ statement of “You give them something to eat” in Mark 6: 37 was the exam for their mission trip.  Jesus walking on the water started the reteach cycle that ended with the feeding of the 4000, as the retest.

Three– The “three” here can be several things.  John says they rowed three or three and a half miles (6: 19).  Jesus was in His third year of ministry, just before His death. If you use the Roman system of watches, it was in the third watch.

End and Start – The fact that all of the Gospel writers include the feeding of the 5000, thus the walking on the water (Luke only tells the feeding, not the walking), makes this very important.  John, the last eye-witness to write a Gospel, focuses his work around seven major miracles that prove Jesus was the Son of God.  He connects back to Passover/Exodus with the crowd wanting Jesus to always feed them with manna and the Feast of Tabernacles.  John continues with the raising of Lazarus that leads to parade into Jerusalem. The other writers tell the stories of the Transfiguration and the Gentile woman.  Luke adds the sending out of the seventy-two on mission trips.  All of these things would have been part of the preparations for the Church to grow after Pentecost.

John the Baptist’s death was the end of the Old Testament prophets thus allowing for the start of the New!  I have the feeling that these events, feeding and walking, signal a new start/phase in Jesus’ ministry.  As I have already said, the connects with the first Passover/Exodus are numerous.  So, if these are a prelude for a “new” the events of the first Passover would be mirrored.  What about the Red Sea?  (I am smiling here!)  Jesus did not walk through the water, He walked on the water!

FURTHER THOUGHT – Storms, we tend (I tend) to see them as not good.  Seldom do you/I think we are walking on top of the problem.  Think back to “advances in your life”, did you have a storm just before it?

See– Test, Attacks, and Storms Part 1, Part 2, Part 3; Miracles and Storms; Storms Revisited; Test Revisited 

Light and Dark- Saul Regaining His Sight


The story of Saul in Acts 9 has two instances of dark and light. Jesus had to end one case of darkness to ready him for the second.  Saul’s first darkness was in his thinking, it bound him in the Law.  Since he was an up-and-coming star in Judaism, it is probable that he had heard Jesus teach and was one of the many messengers sent to trick Jesus. It is also very likely that Saul was part of the council that sent Jesus to the cross.  The light to this darkness is in verse three, it knocked him to the ground.  You have to wonder just what he saw as he talked to Jesus?

Saul/Paul’s second dark and light cycle began when he got up from the ground.  He opened his eyes and “could see nothing”.  That is frightening! (I had that experience due to an eye infection. I just washed my eyes and could see again.) The last thing he saw, for three days, was Jesus in His glory. (TD Jakes has said that he (eyes) may have never recovered from this, but he now had spiritual vision.)  Saul went from spiritual and physical darkness to seeing the Light, or from no light to knowing the Light!

Three– Saul’s three was “three days”.  He did not eat or drink during this time and the answer to his prayers was – Ananias, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and baptism.

End and Start – Here are some of the things that ended and started.

  • Saul -> Paul
  • The Law went to Grace.  Yes, he stilled honored the traditions of his youth but was not bound to them.
  • The hunter became a herald.
  • Knowing the Law was replaced with knowing the Law-giver.

FURTHER THOUGHT– Since you have been saved, what is one thing that Jesus showed you that caused a change in how you lived.

http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/btbm-paul-conversion/

Light and Dark – 1 Kings 8: 10 + 11

This verse would have been in the list of the FURTHER THOUGHT from Genesis 15.  The story is Solomon dedicating the Temple of God that his father David had wanted to build. Father God shows up in a cloud and envelops the Temple chasing the priest out.  In verse 12 Solomon states that “God would dwell in a dark cloud”.  Verse 10 is where the cloud (dark) filled the temple and verse 11 states the Glory (light) caused the priest to leave.

The Most Holy Place was always dark and the only light that penetrated the area was when the High Priest entered once a year to burn incense.  This is a connection to the Christmas story – Zechariah was doing this when he saw the angel Gabriel.

Three– The time stamp in verse 2 provided my “three”.  Okay, this may be a stretch but!  The feast in the seventh month (Leviticus 23: 23 – 44) was the third set of feasts that Israel was to observe – Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits are the first set and Pentecost is the second. I would think this feast was the Day of Atonement.  It would be followed by Tabernacles, which is mentioned in verse 65.  Everyone had such a blessed time they lived in booths for seven more days.  These feast mirror events in Exodus that were to be remembered.

End and Start–This day marked the end of God “living in a tent” and now started the “grand house that was built” to replace a wandering Tabernacle.  (Writer’s Note – There is more in this end/start, I am just not getting it!) This resembles the change in the Exodus when the Ark/Tabernacle was built.  God was in the Pillar of cloud and fire and He allowed the Ark to be built.  Just like that shift, this also changes the focus of the people to a building instead of a tent.  So, did they get closer to God or to an object to represent Him?

FURTHER THOUGHT – Compare Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings to Jeremiah) to Ezra’s/Herod’s Temple – Ezra, Haggai, and Zechariah to when the Romans destroyed it. http://clipart.christiansunite.com/1547120461/Bible_Characters_Clipart/Solomon_Clipart/Solomon002.jpg

Light and Dark- Genesis 15

Light and Dark– Genesis 15

As I have read this chapter I get the idea that this may be more than one day!  But I will start in verse 12 with the phrase “as the sun was setting”.  So, it was not dark yet!  Abram fell into a sleep, a deep sleep.  The next phrase and/or idea is associated with God several times “thick and dreadful darkness”. (NIV) Not only is it at night but God adds darkness.  Verse 17 continues with physical darkness and another light the “firepot and torch” they are a symbol of God’s presence.  All of this ceremony was the making of the covenant between God and Abram.  This indicates a deeper relationship between the two parties. 

Three– We have a heifer, a goat, and a ram each three years old.  Yes, there were two birds also.  These are most of the animals that would make up the sacrifices under the Law. 

End and Start – Enoch and Noah were the last two men that we are told God communicated/fellowshipped with.  So, God started a new era in His dealings with man and ended a period of silence. Other thought could be He ended His search for a people to make His own and started a journey with Abram. 

FURTHER THOUGHT– Use a concordance or Bible Gateway and find the references of darkness associated with God.

Light and Dark- Exodus 10

Light and Dark– Exodus 10

Dark and light here are part of the plagues before Passover.  In Wonders that Plagued Egypt and Reflections on Judgement I cover some of the plagues but there is so much to learn and see.  In studying this time, I noticed that Moses was directed to confront Pharaoh early in the morning.  This darkness was special – it could be felt!  Ra, their sun god, had bowed before the God of Israel.  (I have been in dark places that set your nerves on edge, but I have never felt darkness.)  When Moses started asking for physical possessions I am sure Egypt was ready to give them anything to get rid of the People. 

Three– It stayed dark for three days.  These three days speak to the time Jesus was in the grave. I hope that I am not squeezing this to fit my ideas, but you need to think before these days fit into the tomb. Israel was in the light, Egypt was in darkness. Jesus was in His glorified body walking through hell getting the keys back, the disciples were in the “dark” about what really happened to Jesus! 

End and Start – There are several things that are happening here, so there are multiple endings and starts.  I see this as God ending His “playing nice” with Pharaoh. I think the people of Egypt had had enough and wanted the People gone.  What started was God’s direct attack on Pharaoh and his son.  Ra was the sun god and major deity for Egypt, and the pharaoh was his son and physical form on earth.  It is also the second time (? – the plague of gnats 8: 16) that God did not tell Moses to go to Pharaoh to warn him of what was coming.  Pharaoh had to call for Moses, then he was warned of the last plague. (Khepri was the gnat god and the god of creation, moving the sun, and rebirth.)  Slavery was ending and freedom about to begin.  Worshipping Egypt ended and worshipping Jehovah was beginning.

FURTHER THOUGHT– What gods do you need to leave in the dark so you can live, better, in the light of Jesus.