The Gospel of Mark: what a treasure for disciples of Christ. Jesus is leading a ‘Master Class’ on His 1st batch of Disciples.
Today we have the story we all know; Jesus walks on the water… That is what we remember from this story… But there are deep insights for the disciple who will look for them. There are foundational principles about walking with Christ and doing ministry in His name to be found in this story, and throughout the Book of Mark!
These applications of this Scripture are for Biblical disciples of Jesus Christ. If you haven’t surrendered your life to Christ you’re not indwelled W/ The Holy Spirit. If you are not empowered by God’s Spirit you have no shot at doing these things. Today is a good day, now is the time to repent and surrender your life fully to Christ!
Previously on The Gospel of Mark… what has transpired in the last few months? Jesus goes home, He is rejected & does few miracles because of a lack of faith. He sends out the disciples, two by two to preach the kingdom & demonstrate power. While this is going on John The Baptist is beheaded. When the disciples return Jesus takes them on a retreat only to be followed by thousands. He teaches and feeds them…
Mark 6:45-56 (MOUNCE)
45 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, toward Bethesda, while He dispersed the crowd. 46 After He had taken leave of them, He went to the mountain to pray.
- Immediately, Jesus is active yet never in a hurry!
- He is giving them this night to retreat while He does the same
- He sent them on with out Him, or so they thought
- What is going through their minds at this point?
- Apart…physically, but there is not place we go apart from Him if we are HIS!
- How did He see them? Because Christ is present with all is true disciples
- It is a discouraging struggle… the text will reveal their heart condition soon
About the fourth watch of the night He came toward them, walking on the lake. He intended to pass by them, 49 but when they saw Him walking on the lake, they thought that He was a ghost. And they cried out, 50 for they all saw Him and were terrified.
- 3am last watch
- They had been striving in their own power for hours and had gone nowhere
- So Christ sought to remind them of His presence
- But instead of His presence reassuring them and empowering them…
- THEY WERE TERRIFIED
- They thought He was a ghost and they screamed like scared children
- Did Christ wait for them to calm down? NO! Immediately He spoke:
- A Word from Christ…
- Have faith, I Am here! Don’t be afraid!
- ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?’ ~ Ps.27:1
- Do you need a Word from Jesus Christ today?
- He showed up and brought HIS peace ‘The Prince of Peace’
- Why does it say they were absolutely amazed, they just saw Him feed 7000 +
- They didn’t understand about the loaves, did they think it was some trick?
- Why were there hearts hardened? [Doing ministry of their own strength]
- They had yet to fully believe that Jesus was God & God is good, all the time…
But then there is the rest of the story… [Paul Harvey] The beauty of the four Gospels: They don’t all tell every part of any given scene. Mark & Matthew record the story the same up to where Jesus speaks but then Matthew adds this:
Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him,“You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” ~Matthew 14:28-33
It is a story within a story to make the point about doing things in our own strength. Here in Matthew we see the faith of the disciples grow to where they worship Jesus as God. This growth of faith then has fantastic results. Both Gospels describe the scene when the land pretty much the same:
53 So when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret where they tied up the boat. 54 When they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized Jesus, 55 and ran throughout that whole area bringing those who were ill on their mats to wherever they heard He was.
- The journey is suddenly easy…
- It says they immediately recognized Jesus [recognized Him as the Messiah?]
- Perhaps the faith of the disciples was contagious
- The people all begin to act on faith that Jesus can cure any illness
56 And wherever He entered villages, towns, or rural areas, they would place the sick in the marketplaces and implore Him that they might touch just the fringe of His cloak. And as many as touched Him were made well.
- So for a period of time there wherever Christ went there was faith
- That faith was acted upon and God saw fit to reward every act of faith!
- Now the disciples were walking in connected faith and the result was fruit!
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.” ~ John 15:5-8 [ESV]
Connection is the key! For a disciple of Jesus Christ, connection to HIM is a way of life. It is not natural so we have to be ‘discipled’ / disciplined to a different way of life. Part of that different way of life is trusting in His Presence and His Goodness. Serving and doing kingdom work empowered by the connection we have to Christ. He bought us, He lives in us and He wants us to grow and be part of His work.
#1: As a disciple of Jesus there are times when Christ will seem distant, don’t lose faith in His presence or care.
#2: Doing the Lord’s work without trusting in His presence is a discouraging struggle. It will harden your heart and make you fearful.
#3: When you seek to hear from Christ and trust Him enough to act, you will see God’s power poured out!
Schedule a daily time alone with Your Lord. Choose to make it an intentional habit.
Study the Bible with others regularly. Choose to make it a lifestyle!
Start everything you do with Connecting to Christ. Choose to act based on HIS presence.