Game Changer Week 3: Devotional Day 5
DAY 5 – Friday
Mark 6: 49
Dig Deeper: Mark 6:45-52, 1 Kings 19:11, Exodus 33:17-22, 33:19, and 34:6, Job 9:8, 11
- What is special about Jesus’ word, “Take heart. It is I. Do not be afraid? Look up these words in the original Greek and discuss what this short phase says about who Jesus is. Why would this have been astounding to the disciples and to the original readers of Mark’s gospel?
- How have you seen Jesus “passing by”?
- Jesus’ presence brings peace to the storm and to the hearts of the disciples, He calms their fears and changes the atmosphere. Where do you need to experience Jesus’ peace right now?
What precious verses theses are! During my study I have been truly moved by what they mean. When I first started studying this passage, the picture they painted on the surface seemed rather flippant; uncaring on Jesus’ part and to be honest, it troubled me greatly. Why did it say, “He (Jesus) meant to pass them by”? Did he not care that they were making headway painfully? Was he just trying to get ahead of them and be first to the other side? What’s up with this, Jesus? It baffled me. Jesus saw them from the shore while he was up on the mountain praying. And then the verses state that as he was walking on the water, all of the disciples saw him and were terrified! Terror upon terror; the terror of the sea conditions and now the terror of seeing Jesus walking on the water!
Wow, Jesus, what is going on?
Throughout the gospels people and unclean spirits shouted out who Jesus was; “You are the Son of God”. Jesus always commands them to be quiet. His time to be revealed had not yet arrived. Jesus’ reveal was to come through Jesus himself not people or unclean spirits.
Jim Edwards says, “In the Old Testament…this nondescript phrase is charged with special force, signaling a rare self-revelation of God. At Mt. Sinai the transcendent Lord passed by Moses (Exodus 33:22, 33:19 and 34:6) in order to reveal his name and compassion. Again, at Mt. Horeb, the Lord revealed his presence to Elijah in passing by (1 Kings 19:11). The most important antecedent of the idea, however comes in Job 9:8, 11.”
The same words thematically and linguistically are used in the OT verses as in Mark 6:49! Edwards goes on to say, that when Jesus “passes by” the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, his revelation is different than that of the Old Testament. Instead of people having to hide in the cleft of a rock, or being covered by God’s hand, or the Lord descending in a cloud; Jesus reveals himself face to face. What a wonderful act of compassion! The God of Israel, majestic, awesome but unknowable face to face God, is revealing himself to his disciples—to us—face to face—walking on the water “passing by”!
The disciples were in distress and Jesus was revealing himself to them, yet they didn’t recognize the picture. They didn’t see what he was doing. Instead they were terrified and thought he was a ghost. Jesus was passing right in front of them—face to face. Jesus was revealing the glory he shares with the Father and the compassion that he has for his followers.
This has struck me deeply! The years of fearful health conditions, bad accidents, struggles with children, hard times for our business—the times of turbulent seas were the times Jesus walked on the water revealing himself to me. The word and the body of Christ here at Chapel Hill were Jesus’s face-to-face compassions showing me who Jesus is. The times I thought Jesus was “passing me by”, were times that he was really “passing by me. How about you? Is Jesus passing by you?