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 

Passover to Pentecost – Out of Egypt/ End of Passover

Passover to Pentecost – Out of Egypt/ End of Passover        Week 2 Day 1

That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians. Exodus 14: 30 NIV

I have used the metaphor “out of Egypt” for a key word many times in my blog.  When you are out of Egypt you are going in to the Promise Land.  Passover is compared to your salvation experience and “out of Egypt” is your journey afterwards.  With metaphors explained let me tell the Exodus story with my “story telling glasses” on.

“We are partying now; people are dancing around playing tambourines and singing songs.  But it has been a mess for a long time.  It really started when this guy, Moses, showed up; it seems he had been gone a long time.  He was all excited because God had done something great in his life.  He told everyone that God knew about their problems and wanted to help them.

He went straight to the source of the problems.  Our hope went sky high. Then things got horrible.  Our water became contaminated; critters showed up and made our lives miserable.  They died then gnats and flies were everywhere.  It got better for us.  But we watched as sickness and the weather went bad all around us.  The neighbors started trying to take our stuff.  Our friend kept working with all of these problems, but as the problems kept coming we were still not free.

Our friend told us we should plan a party and cleanup our houses and be ready to move.  We were enjoying ourselves when the neighbors started showing up.  They told us we need to leave and started paying us to go.  They gave us whatever we asked for as long as we were leaving.

We tried to leave the country, but the roads out of town were blocked.  After a couple of days all of the neighbors decided we had been the cause of all of the problems and we needed to be taught a lesson.  They also wanted all of their stuff back.  God stopped them and opened up a way out.  The neighbors will not follow us now and we are out of the country.  That is why we are celebrating!”  Joshua told us this story before he went and helped our friend.