Walking on Water – Calming Hearts
The Book of Mark
A. We are going to get back into the book of Mark again today.
B. This section of the book is following Jesus’ Galilean ministry.
1. He has called 12 men to be with Him so that He could train them and prepare them for the road ahead.
2. Up until chapter 6 they had been with Him almost all the time.
a) They had seen Him:
(1) Heal the sick.
(2) Raise the dead.
(3) Silence the Pharisees and Sadducees and others who attacked His ministry.
(4) Calm the raging storm.
b) They had been taught by Him both publicly and privately.
3. In the first part of this chapter the disciples were sent out to begin the process of ministering on their own.
4. After returning and reporting to Him they attempted to go off to a place for a retreat.
5. When they arrived they were greeted by a great crowd who had followed them.
6. Instead of sending them away Jesus took the opportunity to teach the disciples another important lesson.
a) Remember the book of Mark presents Jesus as the Suffering Servant of God Mk. 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
b) Their work in the not too distant future was to continue the work begun by the Lord.
c) By ministering to and feeding all of these people He demonstrated to them the kind of heart and compassion they were to have as they ministered.
d) He also demonstrated to them that He was sufficient to meet the needs of people no matter how many or where they were.
e) So by extension they would be sufficient to perform every ministry that He directed them to if they would only trust in Him.
C. Now we come to another teaching moment in verses 45-52..
D. Most of us have experienced a sense of despair at one time or another.
1. Many times despair or depression will follow an exciting experience such as we have just seen with the feeding of the 5000.
2. Everything seems to be perfect.
a) Every one has been fed.
b) There are even some leftovers.
c) Imagine the sense of awe and power these men experienced.
3. We have all been there a time or two.
a) Maybe it was a great bible conference.
b) Or a women’s or men’s retreat.
c) Where God really spoke to you and you had a real sense of His presence and power.
4. But suddenly the situation changes and somehow you forget what you had just experienced.
a) Suddenly the waters begin to rise and the contrary winds blow you off your nicely planned course.
b) This is when you have a choice to make.
E. I want to look at our passage today and examine what happened to the disciples when they were brought to that same kind of situation.
II. Walking on water – calming hearts.
A. Setting the scene vs.45
1. Sending away.
a) Jesus immediately sent them away.
b) Mark indicates a sense of urgency here.
c) It may be explained by what John adds in John 6:15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.
(1) The people feeling a sense of wellbeing wanted to make it a permanent thing.
(2) Not only does This Man heal the sick but He feeds us too.
(3) This was anther temptation placed before Jesus.
(4) Another offer, perhaps by Satan to bypass the cross.
d) Jesus wanted to disciples to be away from there so that they wouldn’t be caught up in that.
2. Praying vs.46.
a) Not only did He pray before important events Mk.3 calling the disciples.
(1) But he also prayed after as here.
(2) It was after this that Jesus delivered the great discourse on the Bread of Life Jn.6.
b) He spent some time there praying because He arrived at the shore again sometime that night vs.47A.
c) Mark makes a point that He was alone.
(1) He had separated Himself from them.
(2) They were on their own.
(3) Out in the lake, out in the storm.
(4) Remember that He is letting them spend more time left to their own resources.
(5) They were separated but not out of His sight vs48a.
3. Contrary winds vs.47-48a
a) The disciples had been toiling most of the night.
(1) They were putting forth a great amount of personal effort with no success.
(2) The distance they had to navigate was relatively short maybe 4-5 miles.
(3) The place they were going was on the North West shore of the lake.
b) They had been rowing for many hours and had been blown off course
(1) In the middle of the Sea – not where they wanted to be.
(2) They were straining at the oars
(a) The word means tortured or distressed.
(b) They weren’t just working hard they were struggling.
B. Walking on water vs.48-51
1. Jesus arrives back at the beach and observes the disciples struggling v48a.
2. 4th watch
a) Between 3 and 6 am the darkest part of the night.
b) They had been struggling all night.
3. He came to them walking on the sea – “on” literally means making contact.
4. Would have passed them by.
a) This is better xlated He desired to come along side.
b) He wasn’t out there for a stroll.
c) If He had wanted to leave them to their own devices He could have just walked around on land.
d) He went out to help not to impress.
5. Fearful hearts vs.49-50a.
a) They assumed the worst.
b) An aberration
c) Troubled –
(1) To cause great distress.
(2) To strike one’s spirit with fear and dread.
d) Mark says that these grown men cried out.
C. Calm hearts vs.50b-51.
1. Jesus immediately speaks calming words vs.50b.
2. Vs.51 the sea immediately became calm when He entered the boat.
3. From fear to calm to astonishment. –
a) Beyond measure. NAS “utterly astonished”.
b) They had been through a rollercoaster ride of emotions that night.
A. Why did all of this happen?
B. What caused the disciples to go from such an exhilarating mountain top at the miracle of the feeding of the 5000 to the point that they were scared half to death when Jesus appeared walking on water?
C. The answer is in vs.52.
1. They missed the whole point of the previous miracle.
2. They had seen Jesus create enough food to feed as many as 20,000 people with just 5 loaves and 2 fish.
3. Why should they even be surprised to see Him walking on water now?
4. They failed to put 2 and 2 together.
A. Isn’t that the way it is with us often times?
B. We see God at work in our lives or in the lives of other people and we get excited and praise His name.
C. But then when something seemingly unrelated comes along and upsets our apple cart we get upset and distressed and anxious.
D. What we fail to understand is that God is just as powerful and capable of dealing with one situation as He was with the other.
E. It is the same all powerful God working in both instances.