Mark 6:47 When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by. 49 But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; 50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” 51 Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
Throughout the gospel of Mark, water constantly reminds us of the untethered nature of things in this world. The waves and the added wind are symbolic of the turbulent world in which God’s children are to live and minister. The disciples were in the boat of testing and were struggling with nature, “straining the oars against and adverse wind.” But in the midst of it all, Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He is living in a different dimension, a different kingdom in which the things of this world have no power.
He had been revealing the kingdom to them through his provision for them. The loaves had provided a basket of food for each of them. He was giving them a glimpse of the kingdom where God’s divine intervention was at work. Now, in the midst of the storm they seemed to have forgotten what he had shown them and they couldn’t comprehend who he was or what he was doing. It was all an invitation to join him in the Father’s kingdom, living in another dimension where they too would be able to metaphorically, walk on the water.
Jesus’ long journey to the cross was one in which he continually revealed the pathway to the kingdom. His death would provide opportunity for all of humanity to pass from death to life; from earthly to heavenly kingdom.. Over and over again Jesus was peeling back the curtain and allowing the disciples to catch a glimpse of his kingdom and yet, they did not understand — their hearts were hard.
I wonder how much we understand? Our hearts can become hardened if we are not open to what Christ has prepared for us and that is, life in the kingdom, and that includes walking on water! A few years ago our girls came home from school and told us a story that they had heard that day. They studied at a school where a number of children of missionaries attended. One of the fathers had read this scripture and decided that he would try walking on water himself. He had stepped off the end of a diving board at a swimming pool — and promptly sunk to the bottom of the pool. I say this to remind us that this isn’t what Jesus was talking about! Jesus was revealing that in the kingdom you can serve God without getting sucked in by the water of this world. You can walk on and/or above the water. Kingdom life takes us to a place where the wind and the waves don’t sink us.
If you watch much of the news cycle you can become pretty frustrated at the winds and the waves of this stormy world. As we make this lenten journey toward Easter, let’s put our entire trust in the Savior who leads us to Calvary and into a new kingdom. Let’s join him in that kingdom journey and walk on the water of this world in victory.
Lord, thank you for the provision for the journey. Amen.
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