Chapter 25

Jesus walks on water
Mark 6:45-56 (NASB)

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45 And immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the multitude away. 46 And after bidding them farewell, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 And when it was evening, the boat was in the midst of the sea, and He was alone on the land. 48 And 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. 49 But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were frightened. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” 51 And He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were greatly astonished, 52 for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened. 53 And when they had crossed over they came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore. 54 And when they had come out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, 55 and ran about that whole country and began to carry about on their pallets those who were sick, to the place they heard He was. 56 And wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and entreating Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured.

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Mark 6:45-50
Without Jesus in the boat

After feeding the crowd miraculously, Jesus dismisses them. He sends His disciples by boat to Bethsaida while He prays alone on a mountain. Between 3.00 a.m. and 6.00 a.m., His disciples struggle to row the tossing boat in the turbulent sea. Facing a strong head wind, they make little progress. The disciples are terrified when Jesus appears, walking towards them on the water. They cry out. They think He is a ghost! But even before entering the boat Jesus assures them, Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.

Jesus fully understands their situation. He understands their losing struggle to advance against mounting waves as they become exhausted. He knows the fierceness of the wind. Leaving His personal prayer time to walk over the water towards them, He scares them stiff! They panic. Petrified, they cannot distinguish Jesus from a ghost!

Christ’s example, to spend time alone with His Father in prayer is one to follow. Serious pray-ers are most able to help others. Sadly, like the disciples: we often struggle in our own strength, and make little progress. We get tired and scared. But take heart! Jesus always knows where to find His followers, whatever their circumstances. He comes to help, wherever we are. Never far away, He encourages us to trust Him and move forward.[1]  Like the disciples, we panic and fear when we should trust and obey. But hearing His word encourages us not to fear.

Mark 6:51-52
With Jesus in the boat

A children’s song rightly says ‘With Christ in the vessel we can smile at the storm.’ It is true! Jesus enters the boat. The wind stops! He says nothing to the storm this time—simply He is in absolute control. His disciples are utterly astonished. Their dull hearts still fail to recognise His incomparable power, He who so recently fed thousands of people with hardly any food!

Christ changes the lives amazingly of those trusting Him as Saviour. He changes everything. Yet we can be so slow to remember Who He is and all that He has done for us. Reading the Bible regularly reminds us of Jesus’ character, words and deeds, and His presence with us in the boat of our lives.

The disciples and Jesus arrive at Gennesaret. They tie up and leave the boat. People from all over recognise Him and come carrying ill people. The same happens in villages, cities and countryside. Like the woman with the haemorrhage previously,[2] all touching his clothes are healed.

Similarly today, everyone who comes to Jesus for forgiveness and eternal life receives them! Have you come to Him?

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[1]    .  Hebrews 4:16.
[2]    .  Mark 5:29.

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Questions on Chapter 25
Mark 6:45-56 Jesus walks on water.

A. Contrast Jesus praying in the mountain and the disciples struggling in the boat, battling against the strong wind and sea.   Mark 6:46-48

B. Are the disciples right to be so astonished and frightened? Should they expect this from Jesus? Do you expect Jesus to help you in the most difficult circumstances?   Mark 6:48-52   Matthew 28:20    Hebrews 4:16

C. Does Jesus ever fail when He seeks to heal people?  Is it more important to have your body healed or to have your eternal soul saved? Why?   Mark 6:56   John 3:16-18, & 36   John 10:28   Mark 8:36  Luke 12:4-5