Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mark 6:45-52 Explanation of Why Jesus Walks on Water

After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied,
Jesus made his disciples get into the boat
and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida,
while he dismissed the crowd.
And when he had taken leave of them,
he went off to the mountain to pray.
When it was evening,
the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore.
Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing,
for the wind was against them.
About the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
He meant to pass by them.
But when they saw him walking on the sea,
they thought it was a ghost and cried out.
They had all seen him and were terrified.
But at once he spoke with them,
“Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”
He got into the boat with them and the wind died down.
They were completely astounded.
They had not understood the incident of the loaves.
On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.

The story of Jesus walking on water often presents a problem for modern day Christians. We all know that people cannot walk on water. So the question is did he really walk on water or is it some type of literary device of the evangelist? Some believe that Jesus' walking on water is a demonstration of his divinity. He is one member of the divine Godhead, therefore capable of supernatural abilities. Other scholars believe it is simply a story by the evangelist that highlights his virtue. In ancient greek biographies, virtuous people are able to walk on water since they are not weighed down by sin. This can be seen in the biography of Apollos who is able to heal the blind, cure the sick, and walk on water. What is important, is not whether Jesus walked on water, but the spiritual meaning of the story.

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