Creation Is Redeemed and Sanctified by the Word of Christ Jesus
Having spared faithful Noah and his family from the flood, the Lord established His covenant with them, “and with every living creature,” that never again would there be “a flood to destroy the earth” (Genesis 9:9–11). He signed and sealed this everlasting covenant with His rainbow in the clouds, by which He sees and remembers His promise that “the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (Genesis 9:13–16). Although creation suffers under the curse of sin, the Lord preserves and orders creation for the benefit of His Church. In particular, all of creation is redeemed and sanctified by the incarnate Son of God. “Take heart,” and “do not be afraid,” for He is with you on the sea. He is not a ghost, but He has come in the flesh to save you. He has gotten “into the boat” with you, and the wind that was against you has ceased (Mark 6:45–51). For He is the Word and promise of the Father, and His own flesh and blood are the covenant by which you are “strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being.” (Ephesians 3:16–17).
Almighty and most merciful God, the protector of all who trust in You, strengthen our faith and give us courage to believe that in Your love You will rescue us from all adversities;
In the lessons for this coming Sunday God's promises are given and the Lord remembers those promises while man might not. The Lord promises Noah and his family that He will never again destroy the earth by a flood. In the Epistle lesson Paul thanks the Lord for the richness of grace which the Lord has established in Christ. In the Gospel Christ comes walking to His frightened disciples on the sea. They do not recognize Him because of fear and hardness of heart. The sermon hymn reminds us that it is the Lord Himself that orders our days.
Faith calls for us to recognize the Lord working in our life especially when we cannot see His hand at work. God will not abandon us to the world we create for ourselves. God does not withdraw to a contamination-free zone and leave us to get on with it on our own...but enters into the darkness, seriousness and consequences of human wrong-doing … in order to save us.
In Mark 1:16-20 when Jesus called Simon, Andrew, James, and John without any apparent previous knowledge of Jesus, they left everything immediately and followed him. What had they recognized in Jesus? It is remarkable that none of the gospels provide a physical description of Jesus. We will never be able to pin him down by virtue of his appearance. Rather, we will always have to recognize Jesus for who He is and what He does. It is more than the miracles and healings Jesus performed or the things he taught. It may actually take the gift of faith to recognize the one who died on the cross as the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world.
Following the feeding of the 5,000 Jesus sends his disciples by boat to Bethsaida. Jesus, in the meantime, spends time in prayer. Jesus, aware that the boat is struggling in a high wind, walks out to the boat and is about to "pass them by." The disciples are terrified, but Jesus quiets them and the wind. The disciples response is amazement, rather than faith, for "they did not understand about the loaves."
The account of Jesus' walking on water follows immediately on from the feeding of the 5,000. The language is tied closely to the feeding and exhibits the heightened emotions of an eye witness. Like the feeding, this story is full of theological imagery. As in Psalm 107:23-32, where the Lord carries his people to their haven of rest, so Jesus miraculously reveals himself as the one who can take his people across the sea to their haven of rest. The story images Israel's crossing of the Reed Sea and the River Jordan. Yet, as with the feeding of the 5,000, the disciples do not understand the significance of the miracle and therefore do not come to faith.
Jesus Walks on Water
(Matthew 14:22-33; John 6:16-25)
45 Καὶ εὐθὺς ἠνάγκασεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἐμβῆναι εἰς τὸ πλοῖον καὶ προάγειν εἰς τὸ πέραν πρὸς Βηθσαϊδάν, ἕως αὐτὸς ἀπολύει τὸν ὄχλον. Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.
πρὸς Βηθσαϊδάν John mentions Capernaum. Mark will use Bethsaida. Both are on the northern end of the lake. The disciples are going “toward” in the general direction. Remember this event happens as they are about six miles out. Very easy to get blown off course.
46 καὶ ἀποταξάμενος αὐτοῖς ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι.
And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.
Here are hints of Moses who went off to pray and meet God.
47 καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης ἦν τὸ πλοῖον ἐν μέσῳ τῆς θαλάσσης, καὶ αὐτὸς μόνος ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.
And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land
This sets the stage for the event. Everyone is where they need to be.
Is “the boat” shorthand for “the Church”?
48 καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτοὺς βασανιζομένους ἐν τῷ ἐλαύνειν, ἦν γὰρ ὁ ἄνεμος ἐναντίος αὐτοῖς, περὶ τετάρτην φυλακὴν τῆς νυκτὸς ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης· καὶ ἤθελεν παρελθεῖν αὐτούς.
And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them
Βασανιζομένους – carries the understanding of eschatological visitation. To be examined, tortured. See Matthew 8:6 the Centurion’s servant is in deep emotional distress.
49 οἱ δὲ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα ἔδοξαν ὅτι φάντασμά ἐστιν, καὶ ἀνέκραξαν·
but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out
Jesus sees them and comes to them.
4th watch - between 3am-6am – the time of Jesus’ resurrection - when He will rise. He makes to pass by - showing His divinity.
ἔδοξαν – to consider
They cry out in fear. They fear not the wind and waves they fear Jesus.
50 πάντες γὰρ αὐτὸν εἶδον* καὶ ἐταράχθησαν. ὁ δὲ εὐθὺς ἐλάλησεν μετ’ αὐτῶν, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Θαρσεῖτε, ἐγώ εἰμι, μὴ φοβεῖσθε.
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.”
Jesus – λέγει - preaches to them “Take heart, I am, stop fearing!” Be of good cheer, be heartened, fear not, Christ is.
51 καὶ ἀνέβη πρὸς αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ πλοῖον, καὶ ἐκόπασεν ὁ ἄνεμος· καὶ λίαν ἐκ περισσοῦ ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἐξίσταντο·
And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded
They were very much outside themselves astounded.
52 οὐ γὰρ συνῆκαν ἐπὶ τοῖς ἄρτοις, ἀλλ’ ἦν αὐτῶν ἡ καρδία πεπωρωμένη. for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened