Summary: Experiencing a Miracle. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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”: