Summary: Experiencing a Miracle. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: Mark chapter 6 verses 45-62.


Nun & Petrol Story.

This is the third nature miracle in Mark’s gospel:

• The first nature miracle was calming the storm by just speaking (Mark chapter 4).

• The second nature miracle was Jesus feeding of the 5,000 people (Mark chapter 6)

• This third miracle has Jesus walking on the water.

• Note: Mark does not include the incident of Peter getting out the boat.

• We will come to that in a moment.

• We will look at the incident and then Peter’s input at the end.

The key lesson for me in this story is Faith:

• Verse 52 clearly brings out that point.

• “For they (disciples) had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened”.

• The disciples had witnessed first hand,

• The compassion and the power Jesus had for a large crowd of strangers.

• Now in the middle of a raging storm,

• They needed Jesus to have the same compassion on them, his 12 friends,

In life, both the blessings and difficulties that we experience:

• Should deepen our relationship with the Lord.

• Should cause us to trust him more and more.

• Like the disciples we need to learn & keep learning,

• That the compassion and power of Jesus,

• Are permanent qualities of his nature.

• Therefore we can trust him in one situation after another, In fact, in all situations.

Now There are two kinds of faith.

(1). Saving faith.

• When we put our trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

• This comes first and is the most essential of the two.

(2). Experimental faith.

• That is what we practice after we are saved.

• “We walk by faith and not by sight” – by daily trusting the Lord.


“Saving faith is primary and fits us for heaven;

experimental faith is subsidiary and fits us for earth”.

Saving faith is intangible,

• It cannot be measured.

• Ill: Some of our faith was like a mustard seed, others like a mustard tree.

• We are saved not because we had great faith,

• But because we put our faith in the right source, in a great saviour.

Experimental faith is tangible:

• It produces visible results that can be tested.

• Ill: rebuilding a Church or a specific need.

• We trust the Lord to meet that need,

• And when he meets that need, we can see our faith was tangible, real.

Jesus wanted the disciples to put their faith in him:

• To catch a glimpse of who he really is, God made flesh!

• The deity of Jesus is seen throughout this incident.

• Three truths about Jesus in this story,

• Have an Old Testament equivalent regarding Jehovah.

(1). Walking on the water.

• The Old Testament often pictures God walking over the sea.

• Quote: Psalm 77 verse 19: “You walked through the waves; you crossed the deep sea”.

• Jesus, walking on the water,

• Is behaving like God in the picture language of the Old Testament

(2). We have the expression that Jesus was going to “Pass by” the disciples (verse 48).

• At first sight that does not mean much,

• But again this is an Old Testament expression linked to God himself.


• Exodus chapter 33 verses 19-23:

• “The ‘dazzling light of God’s presence’ passed by Moses”.

• 1 Kings chapter 19 verses 11-12:

• “God passed by the mountain top where Elijah had camped”.

• Job chapter 9 verse 11-12:

• Job said in his despair. “God passes by, but I cannot see him”.

• “Passed by” is a common Old Testament phrase,

• Used of Jehovah.

(3). Jesus words.

• In verse 50 Jesus said to the disciples; “It is I. Don’t be afraid!”

• The Greek words Mark uses for “It is I” are simply “I AM”.

• The name “I AM” is what Jehovah called his name,

• When Moses asked for a name in Exodus chapter 3 verse 14.

So this story of Jesus walking on the water:

• Is packed with Old Testament ideas,

• That point the reader to one conclusion;

• That when Jesus walked on the water,

• It was like the appearances of God long ago.

(1). Preparation (verses 45-50):

(1). Jesus in control (Verse 45):

45Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.

46After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.

Before Jesus went into the hills to pray he does two things:

• First he dismisses the crowds:

• Second he dismisses his disciples.

Verse 45: “Jesus made his disciples get into the boat”:

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