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 

For Moore

Storms change things cleaning away the past and redirecting the future.Rocky,s house                 Bad storms, like tornadoes and floods, destroy and take precious Memorial for Childrenthings from us, some more precious than others.

But when things of the past are gone your dreams can still be found.  They                                          are yours and you alone change them.

Hope was not carried off in the wind and water.  So if yours has been misplaced find Jesus, He has plenty and He shares.

Storms Revisited

Weather and storms are an important part of how Father God deals with His world and its people.  Part of knowing God is knowing that He uses His natural world to interact with us and to make His power and glory known to us.  I like Nahum 1:3 where it says, “His ways are in the whirlwind and the storm and clouds are the dust of His feet (NIV).

Weather, storms, in particular, are where hot and cold air mix creating winds and clouds.  Hot air rises and cooler moves in to take its place.  Air flows from high-pressure areas (mountains of air) to low-pressure areas (valleys of air).  Solar energy drives all of this by heating the earth.

God uses storms to meet with His people like in Job 38.  Thunder, hail, and whirlwinds have been used to create confusion and to defeat the enemies of His people. Examples of these uses are in Proverbs 10:25, Zechariah 7:14 and 1 Samuel 7:10.  But also in Proverbs 10:25 is a promise that the righteous will be standing when the storm has gone by. (see Storms part 2)

The storms in the New Testament are just as powerful and have the same potential for destruction as their Old Testament counterparts, however, they seem to have a different function in God’s plan for man.  The disciples were beaten and battered about by the winds and the waves but Jesus used them as training tools.  The storms in the Gospel of Mark and the one that Paul finds himself in Acts 27 (see Attacks part 3) come in advance of a time of miracles.  Another element that shows its self is that Jesus is present with the people in the storm.

These are thoughts that I have collected through the years about storms.

1. Are the storms of life for God to learn about us or for us to learn about us?

2. It is hard to recognize Jesus in a storm. (T.D. Jakes)

3. A thought on Peter(see Rock or Chip) – A wet water-walker is better than a dry boat-talker.(Pastor Perez)

4. You may see Jesus in the daytime but it is hard to see Him at night in the rain.                (Joel Osteen)

Muses and preachers will always find inspiration in storms both spiritual and physical. But knowing that Jesus will be with us in and through the storm and that we will come out of them better than when we went in I hope eases the discomfort of going through them.

Final thought – Did it happen to me or did it happen for me!  All things work for good, not all things are good. (see Fight)