The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

17 March 2012

Walking on water

You know how it is.  You hear (or read) the opening of a scripture passage in a daily reading, and you immediately race ahead and fill in the blanks.  Then maybe you zone out a little.

"Oh yeah," you say to yourself, "this is the lost sheep one... one goes missing but the Shepherd finds it." Then you're free to wander until standing or music brings you back into focus again.

Ok, ok, I'm sure that never happens to you.  I should have made it personal and written only of myself.  I admit I do it a lot.

Yesterday's Gospel was from Mark 6: 45-52.  After the crowds were sent away, Jesus went up the mountain to pray and the others went out in a boat.  A storm came up and they began to fret.  And then came Jesus, walking on the water.  He was going to pass them by, Mark writes, but they called to Him and He got into the boat.

I'd never really payed attention to that bit before: He was going to pass them by.  He wasn't necessarily walking on water in order to go to them and comfort them.  To me, this sounds like walking on water - and who knows what other marvelous and miraculous physical feats - was something He performed for no particular reason, as a matter of course, or for His own enjoyment.  There are so many details of His daily life before and during His ministry years that we don't know.  To think of Him praying on His own and then... la di dah... walking on water, strikes me as fun-loving and exuberant.  He went into the storm, and I get that.  Don't you get a rush from the intensity of nature showing off?

I may not have had the wisdom or the faith to have recognized Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah, but I know I would have wanted to spend time with a man who walked on water and chased the wind.


  1. Perhaps the first 'storm chaser' eh? lol

  2. Yes! I hope this didn't sound scandalous. I suddenly had an impression of Jesus as thoroughly enjoying being able to do what He was able to do. How fun would it be to walk on water? Don't you suppose He would have done it for the sheer enjoyment of it - along with who knows what else He was able to do that never was written of in the Gospels. It also made me think of a scene from Lewis's The Great Divorce where the holy beings were able to walk on top of the blades of grass because they were more real than it was.

  3. Tess, I don't think it sounds scandalous at all! Think about it...He was fully human, and as humans we receive pleasure in things around us. Imagine to feel the strong winds against your face, and the turbulent waters all around you and know you are safe while experiencing all this? Who in the right mind would not have done what Christ did?

    We seem to have a problem with picturing Jesus as smiling, laughing, joking with his friends and just enjoying this life. Sometimes His divinity blurs his humanity and it shouldn't.

    I wonder if He decided to go by their boat while walking on water just to see what they would say, especially when we are told he had initially planned on going ahead of them to the other shore? Why change His mind? As a joke? Perhaps, but luckily for us, it turned out to be a joke that taught us many things about Himself and being strong in our faith amidst calamity.

    What is walking on water when we are told that with faith the size of a mustard seed, we can say to mountains to uproot themselves and move over there?

    Of course, I would be careful to place that mountain down safely and not on top of anyone, not even a liberal...being a Christian and all ;)