Sermon + Bible Study Notes: How to Let Jesus in Your B.O.A.T. (Mark 6:45-56)

Jesus Walks on Water
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They were eager to receive His power over demons, disease, and death. His power to create food was even more attractive to them. But He saw the crowd for what the crowd was. He saw in the relentless and eager crowds no true worship, no heart repentance, no willingness to abandon an apostate religion, their own sense of self-righteousness. They wanted their religion, they loved their self-righteousness, they just wanted the things that Jesus could provide them.

They were the thrill-seekers. They wanted to use Him in a bloody revolution, if they could, but He would have none of it. On the very next day, just hours after this event, which happened late in the evening on a spring night, the very next day in the morning, maybe twelve hours later, they meet with Jesus again, this same crowd that has been fed on this evening, and they want breakfast. They think the welfare state has been inaugurated. And if you eat of this bread, you will never hunger. They were not interested in that at all. And so after He finishes His sermon, there is a response recorded in John chapter 6, a most interesting response.

We find it in verse Now, the crowd was made up of people who were just there in the crowd. We know they left because they never had a commitment to Christ to begin with. They were past the point of just the miracles. Supposedly, they were there to learn, to follow, like somebody would a rabbi who had become his mentor or his teacher. But even they had such crass motivation and intention for their learning. Are they the only ones left? Now, you have to understand something, folks. They had all the same expectations that the crowd had.

They had all the same expectations the crowd had. Did they want an earthly Kingdom? They wanted to sit on the right hand and the left hand of Jesus in that Kingdom. Did they expect that Jesus would overthrow the petty rulers and even Rome in its occupation of Israel?

Were they interested in the here and now? They had basically become subject to the same Messianic construct that existed in the thinking of all the people in Israel, that the Messiah would come, be a military leader, overthrow their enemies and set up a welfare state, fulfill all the promises to Abraham and David in those covenants, and they would flourish as a nation under the full blessing of God. Do you want to go away? You have words of eternal life. They embraced those words. This is where they begin to understand that this is about eternal life, not earthly life.

And they go beyond that. This is the first great open confession of the twelve. We believe. We believe in you. We believe you are the Holy One of God. We believe that you have come to provide eternal life. The question comes up at this point, what convinced them? Why are they still there? After all, they too are disciples, students, learners. They just had their first short-term effort at it.

Go back to Mark 6. Go back to Mark 6, let me show you something. You find that hard to believe, that you could watch somebody create food out of nothing?

Bread from grain that never grew and fish that were dead and had never lived and never swam? And enough to feed thousands and thousands of people? The crowd saw that. What in the world made the difference? Well, what made the difference is the text that we have before us this morning.

And bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray. And when it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea and He was alone on the land. Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them at about the fourth watch of the night, He came to them walking on the sea and He intended to pass by them. Do not be afraid.

When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. You have to understand that the Kingdom at this point, as we look at it here, the Kingdom at this point is all in one little boat. This is not very impressive.

This Kingdom is not at all impressive. It is a poor Kingdom by any human estimate. This is a very dangerous moment for the Kingdom. Nazareth has rejected Him. Galilee has rejected Him. Herod wants to kill Him. The Pharisees and scribes want to kill Him. The leaders in Jerusalem want to kill Him. And now, even those who are His apostles, first generation of gospel preachers, the ones who will rule over the twelve tribes of Israel, these men are in a dire situation.

Their rescue is essential and so is their complete devotion to Him. Future hope for gospel preaching depends on their survival and it depends on their faith. And apparently what they experienced that night did it. That night they went from fear to faith.

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That night they went from confusion to confession. That night they went from wondering to worshiping. There are three scenes here. In each case, the Lord is at center stage, as He should be. In fact, he wanted this only and nothing else. They have such susceptibility to this passion and zeal of the crowd that Jesus knows they need to get out of there.

So He made them go. They would have been glad to stay and let this euphoria and this coup begin to gather momentum. The definite article is always there. Now remember, it is night. It is dark. They would be rowing, so they would simply row along the shoreline. The best way to understand it is in the direction of nearby Bethsaida and then on the way all the way over to Capernaum. It was only a four-mile journey, as we know, to get from where they were at the feeding over to Capernaum by water.

It does mean fish house and there might have been a lot of fish houses around the lake because fishing was the primary industry. Now, after sending them away, He Himself was sending the crowd away. That would not be an easy task. This has torn through the crowd, this notion that this is the one who can be our king, look what He can do for us. And yet He Himself sent them away. This is much like cleansing the temple at the beginning of His ministry or cleansing the temple at the end of His ministry.

He exercises the kind of authority that just dissipates a crowd. They just leave. They just dissolve into the dusk of that spring night. It was night and they need to sleep, so they slept wherever. Maybe they found places here and there where they could go, some perhaps to their homes, but they slept. And in the morning, according to John 6, they wake up, and in verse 22, we find they come right back to the place where the feeding took place.

The next day the crowd that stood on the other side of the sea saw there was no other small boat there except one and that Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat but that His disciples had gone away alone. Disciples are gone. There came other boats from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus.

The Murder of the Greatest Prophet (Mark 6:14-29)

They stayed in the same place expecting to have breakfast and to follow their coup plans. Jesus dissolves the crowd into the dark. They show up in the morning. Others got into little boats because boats had come from all over the place, even from across the lake at Tiberias, the headquarters of Herod Antipas. Now, they wanted their revolution. They wanted Jesus to give them what He had the power to give them.

Why did He go there? To pray. To pray for what?

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No, to pray for whom? He is the great High Priest who intercedes for His people, right? Hebrews and Surely He went to intercede for their faith and their strength. Surely He went to ask that the Father would grant them strong faith, enduring faith, true faith and would grant them the revelation of Himself so that they would know who He is. He prayed for them. He sought for them the revelation of His own nature and person and the gift of saving faith. And the Father answered His prayer, and we move from the intercession with the Father to the protection for the twelve in verse That cannot be good.

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How does knowing the Savior is in tune with the fears of His disciples bolster your trust in Him?

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William R. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jesus Christ walking on water. Jesus caught him and reproved him for his lack of faith, and led him back to the ship, whereupon the storm stopped. Minneapolis, Fortress Press, , p. The King and His Court.

Cancel Save. Print Twitter Facebook Email. Click the button below to continue. Close this window. Learn more today! Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial. I doubt you could identify the boat or its occupants, but you might be able to spot it. But at nighttime with the wind whipping up the water and the waves? And so I believe a miracle of seeing took place here. Jesus somehow was able to look out over the lake and see the disciples straining at the oars.

But whether this was a miracle of seeing or not, the principle for us is the same. God sees it all. He knows your situation. Whenever you are in a tough spot, remember this. Jesus was on land, and the disciples were out in the middle of the lake. Now this is the big miracle of the story — Jesus walking on the water. Once again, skeptics have tried to come up with all sorts of explanations for what happened here. One is that the disciples saw Jesus walking around the shore of the lake in the shallows.

No, this was a true miracle, Jesus walking on top of the water, demonstrating his power over nature and his own true nature as God. In the Old Testament only God walked on the water and had power over the sea. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.

Jesus was about to pass right by them, and they almost missed him. God can be right there ready to help you, but you need to be ready to respond. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

Mark 6:45-56: Confounded by Christ

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm You might feel like you are stuck out in the middle of the sea going nowhere, far away from any help or rescue, but remember, God is always there. Look at verse The disciples were terrified when they saw Jesus, but. It is I. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Romans divided the night up into four watches with the fourth watch lasting from am. So the disciples had been at it pretty much all night when Jesus came out to them about three in the morning. Unfortunately, we have this terrible tendency to push God away when we need him the most. What if the disciples had pushed Jesus away after he identified himself? Why did you send us out here to begin with? Why did you take you so long to get here? But that is exactly what we need to do when we are in trouble.