Having Spiritual Reality

Mark 6.47

Crossing the Sea of Galilee at night against the storm, the disciples are ‘seen’ by Christ from miles away. He comes to them walking on the water. Why does He demonstrate His divinity this way? Here are six lessons for all believers and for seekers.

‘And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea and he alone on the land, and he saw them toiling in rowing’, and our subject this morning will be ‘Having Spiritual Reality.’ Following the feeding of the five thousand we come to this passage of the last part of Mark chapter 6. I am going to begin by the looking at verse 43: ‘Straightway he [Christ] constrained his disciples to get into the ship and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida’, which was another Bethsaida on the other side of the lake, beyond Capernaum, ‘while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.’ And he was there while the disciples rowed across the sea, the lake. They had to row because there was a storm, and a fierce wind was blowing in the wrong direction, and they found themselves toiling against the wind. And when we put the record of the Gospel of Matthew alongside Mark, and references in the Gospel of John chapter 6, we find that they had been rowing, well, possibly for up to seven hours. The wind was so strong, and in the words of the King James version ‘contrary to them’, and the sea also very boisterous. And they had really only got halfway, and just to try to picture it, this is an alarming situation. They were used to that sea, but now they are having to row, and row so furiously just to remain almost in the same position. And now [they are] exhausted and it’s dark, and it’s night, yet curiously we read this in verse 48: ‘And he saw them toiling in rowing.’

Well, where was the Lord? He was in Bethsaida. It was night; it was also stormy. It was quite impossible for him to see the disciples in the middle of the northern end of the lake. But nevertheless, he saw them. He saw them, not in his human nature, but he saw them as God. He was God and man, and he saw them.

The narrative seems to imply that he particularly set his eyes upon them, because they were in trouble. They were toiling; they were labouring, making such heavy weather in dangerous conditions. So all the more he saw them. And there is a wonderful picture in that for us, even as we begin, and in having spiritual reality. The Lord sees and particularly when we are in trial or distress.

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