Yesterday, we began talking about finding our way in the storm.
The current crisis seems like a storm. A storm of media, a storm of anxiety, and a storm of fear.
As we discussed yesterday, sometimes Jesus wants us in the storm. Sometimes the storm is where we are meant to be.
In Mark 6, the disciples are out in the storm because Jesus sent them there. So when we feel the world is out of control and there is no way to navigate we need to remember that sometimes this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.
SECOND: HE SEES YOU. AND YOU SEE HIM MORE PERFECTLY IN THAT STORM
48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them,
It is important to remember that Mark is writing to demonstrate the GODHOOD of Jesus. He is writing to tell people that Jesus IS THE CHRIST. Jesus IS THE SON OF GOD. At the beginning of the book, he establishes that as his thesis. He wants to demonstrate that Jesus is the Son of God.
And this only serves to strengthen that case.
Remember when we said that to people of this time the sea symbolized chaos and evil? The waves symbolized the uncertainty of life. The wind symbolized the spirit world that was against them?
And here is Jesus. WALKING ON THE WATER! He is demonstrating, once again, His power over all that held power in that time.
Then we come to the phrase, “He was about to pass by them…” This seems to make no sense. The disciples are struggling to make progress. Why would Jesus just pass by? Was it a race? Was he sneaking? Bible scholars have proposed all kinds of theories.
To really understand what’s happening, you need to understand what it means to “pass by.”
In Exodus 33, Moses said to God, “Show me your glory.” God replied, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence…When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by” (Exodus 33:19,22).
In 1 Kings, God told Elijah, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by” (1 Kings 19:11).
Jesus is not only walking on water here, which tells us that this is no normal person, but now he’s also passing by. This is the language of God revealing himself. As God revealed himself to Moses at Sinai, and on Horeb to Elijah, God now reveals himself in the person of Jesus Christ to the disciples.
Jesus reveals HIS GLORY in the storm.
That’s why the storm is a place to rejoice. That’s where you truly see His glory. It’s where He more fully reveals Himself to you. There’s one more clue that we need to spot. When the disciples saw Jesus passing by, walking on the water, they thought he was a ghost.
Jesus immediately spoke to them and said – in my translation – “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” What Jesus said is actually, “Take courage. I am. Don’t be afraid.”
Do you know what this means? When Moses asked God for his name when God first revealed himself to Moses, God gave his name as “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). I AM is God’s personal name. It’s how God describes himself.
Jesus is saying that the God who created the world from nothing, who set the stars in place, who gave us life, who made a covenant with his people, and who delivered Israel out of Egypt – that great I AM is now walking on the water in the middle of the storm.
Jesus passes by them and reveals his presence and identity so that they can have confidence in the storm.
The point isn’t that Jesus will rescue them from the storm – although, as we’ll see in a moment, he does that. The point is that I AM is with them in the storm.
They are looking for evil spirits and ghosts and that’s what they think they are seeing. But Jesus overcomes all of that. Jesus is LORD over the storm, over the waves, over the wind AND over any spirit! He is the I AM, the LIVING GOD and He is revealing His glory in the storm.
Sometimes, Jesus wants you in the Storm because . . .
HE SEES YOU AND YOU SEE HIS GLORY MORE PERFECTLY REVEALED!
So as we continue in this storm we are currently facing, are you looking for Jesus?
I guarantee there will be opportunities when He will “pass by.” There will be times when you have a chance to truly see His glory more perfectly revealed in the storm.
Keep your eyes open this week.
God loves you and I love you,