Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Lent Devotional March 28, 2014

Scripture

Mark 6:47-56

47 When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by. 49 But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; 50 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." 51 Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54 When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55 and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

Devotional

This passage opens with Jesus on the shore, and the disciples struggling on the water. The sea and the storm were too much for the disciples to handle, and Jesus saw them struggling. 

By this point in the Gospel according to Mark, we’ve seen Jesus seek refuge amongst waves, find protection in the storms, and even speak to the sea. See March 19, March 21, and March 27. When seeing his disciples in danger, in some way it should be logical for us to expect Jesus to demonstrate his mastery over the sea once more. 

Yet what happens next is beyond anything we’ve seen thus far. More shocking than even conversing with the elements, Jesus simply treads on the sea itself. The disciples, upon witnessing this mastery over nature itself, are shocked. But notice what shocked them. It wasn’t Jesus walking on water. It wasn’t even the obedience of the wind. They were still shocked about the loaves. One of the great things about this is that God’s blessings weren’t contingent on their understanding. Jesus continued to bless them even though they could hardly even see it.

Message provided by the Miller Summer Youth Institute.