Rejection and Walking on Water

Rejection of an Attempt to Make Christ King (Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 6:45-46; John 6:14-15).

Having seen the miracle, the people began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the
world.” They were convinced that Jesus was the Prophet of whom Moses had spoken (Deuteronomy
18:15). Since the leaders of the nation had rejected Him, the kingdom had to be postponed until the
nation would turn in faith to Him. The desire of the people to make Him a political King could not be
realized even though they recognized that Jesus was offering Himself as a King.

Undoubtedly, this was another temptation from Satan to get Jesus to step out of the will of His Father.
The time of the feeding of the 5,000 was just prior to Passover Week A.D. 32. “What better time to
establish your kingdom than Passover season, and in what better way than marching triumphantly into
Jerusalem at the head of thousands of enthusiastic supporters?” Satan may have asked. All three times in
Mark’s Gospel that Jesus withdraws to pray involves the temptation not to carry out God’s mission for
Him—a mission that would ultimately bring suffering, rejection and death. These crises reach their
climax in the agony of Gethsemane.

Christ Walks on the Stormy Sea (Matthew 14:24-33; Mark 6:47-52; John 6:16-21). Another
important lesson needs to be learned by the disciples. He sends them out into the storm to teach them to
live by faith. It does not matter whether He is asleep in the boat or watching from the shore, they are just
as safe. Between nine and twelve hours elapsed. All the time they were fighting the storm, and He was
praying. During the fourth watch (about 3:00 a.m.) of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the
water.

Their perception is still out of whack—instead of seeing the Lord, they think they see a Ghost! The
Greek indicates that “He intended to pass by them.” This is a manifestation of the transcendent LORD
who will “pass by” as God did at Mt. Sinai before Moses or on Mt. Horeb before Elijah (cf. Job 9:8, 11).
Mark 6:50 literally reads, “Take courage; it is I AM (egw eimi, ego eimi). Do not be afraid.” Egw eimi
is the same words God used to identify Himself at the burning bush to Moses. In Hebrew, egw eimi is
hwhy (Yahweh) and is usually translated “the LORD.” In other words, Jesus identified Himself as the
God of Israel, who delivers His people. His statement builds on what He told Jarius, “Don’t be afraid;
just believe.”

With the permission of Christ, Peter climbs out of the boat and begins to walk on water also. But he takes
his eyes of the Lord and begins to look at his circumstances and begins to sink. “Lord, save me!” Christ
instantly responds to his cry for help. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly
you are the Son of God.” This is the climax to this busy day, not the stilling of the storm.

Point of the parabolic-miracle is that the secret of overcoming the storm and doing the impossible is
simply to believe the Word of God and keep looking to the Son of God. Yet, even when we fail, Jesus
graciously helps us! (cf. 1 Peter 5:7). Keep in mind that the disciples were in the storm, not because they
disobeyed Him (like Jonah), but because they obeyed Him. This present age will be one of storms for the
church. The lesson is that the Son of God could deliver them from all danger and to show their lack of
faith.

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