In Mark chapter 6 starting in verse 45 we find the story of Jesus walking on water. Often when we hear this story we hear it preached form the book of Matthew. We often focus on Peter walking on water or on Jesus calming the storm. BUT, there is something that Mark includes that I think we need to remember. Jesus saw their suffering. Mark 6:48 says, “He saw the disciples straining at the oars.” The disciples WERE struggling, but Jesus knew it. There are a few things that we can learn from this passage.
Jesus sent them out. Verse 45 of this passage tells us that Jesus, “made his disciples get into the boat and go.” If Jesus sent the disciples out then we have to ask two questions. Either Jesus didn’t know the storm was coming or he sent them out knowing that they were going to struggle with the storm. If we say that Jesus didn’t know, then we have to say that He is not God. If we say that He is God, then we have to admit that He knew. The same is true in our lives. There are times in our lives when Jesus will send us into difficult times. Even in these times He knows what is coming. It does not catch him by surprise, even if it does us.
The Disciples were obedient. Jesus told his disciples to “go on ahead of him.” This tells us that Jesus intended to meet them on the other side. The Sea of Galilee is several miles across and any more miles around. The disciples had to have wondered how Jesus intended to get there. Despite this the disciples set out. Even though they didn’t fully understand his instructions, they obeyed them. All too often we receive instructions from God that we don’t understand. We strive for an understanding. We pray, we study, we search for truth. Faith means we must trust God, even when the instructions don’t seem to make sense to us. We must trust that God knows what is coming, even if we don’t. We must trust that God has better plans for us that we have for ourselves.
Jesus prayed. Verse 46 tells us that Jesus went up on a mountain to pray. We are not given any indication as to what he prayed about. However, Romans 8:34 does tell us that Jesus “is at the right had of God and is also interceding for us.” While we don’t know exactly what Jesus was praying for in that moment, we do know that he pleads with God the Father on our behalf. Perhaps Jesus was praying for the disciples in that moment. In the midst of our struggles Jesus IS interceding for us with God the Father.
He saw their struggles. As the title and the introduction states, Jesus sees our struggles. The disciples could not see Jesus. It was late in the night, the sky was dark and they were in the middle of a storm. However, even though they could not see Him, Jesus could see them and was watching. He sees you in the midst of of your struggles, even if you can’t see him.
Jesus went to them. In the midst of their struggles Jesus went to them. Not only did Jesus go to them, but He rescued them from their struggles. Understand that I am not saying that he will always rescue you from your struggles. Jesus is not a night in shining armor that is going to rescue you from ALL of your problems. Jesus even said that “in this life you WILL have trouble.” Jesus WILL rescue you from your sins and from your Hell, but life is still hard at times.
Life is hard some times. We WILL struggle in this life. But, this passage teaches us that even in the midst of our struggles Jesus sees us. He will save us from these struggles when the time is right.Matt Norman
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