Summary: Despair sometimes follows a particularly exciting spiritual experience this passage talks about that.
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.