Have you ever read a Scripture and have it hit home like a ton of bricks, but then you keep pondering it, uncertain of its complete meaning? Mark 6:45-52 is like that for me.
Jesus and the disciples have just fed 5, 000 and collected the leftovers. Jesus then has the disciples get into the boat and cross to the other side. The ESV says Jesus “made” them, MSG and AMP use the word “insisted”. Strong word choice. Not ask, not suggest, but made and insisted. Hmm.
Jesus then goes off to pray alone and recharge His spiritual battery. Meanwhile the disciples are “troubled and tormented in their rowing, for the wind was against them. . .” (AMP). Jesus sees their struggle onshore and then walks on the sea to head on over.
Alas, alas o my soul, how the next words haunt me. “He was about to pass them by. . .” (ESV); “He intended to go right by them. . .” (MSG); “And He acted as if He meant to pass by them. . .” (AMP). Why?
What was Jesus’ intent when He insisted they move out into the water not only knowing they would encounter a horrific storm of such magnitude that they thought they would perish, but observe their struggle and then come close only to pass them by?
Still, He enters the storm. He chooses to meet us in the midst of our storms, crossing the choppy waters, heading for us.
The disciples think He’s a ghost until He quickly speaks to them, “‘Take heart! I AM! Stop being alarmed and afraid. . .'” (AMP). This is the point where Peter asks to walk on water (Matthew 14). He steps into the boat and immediately the wind “ceased (sank to rest, as if exhausted by its own beating). . .” (Mark 6, AMP)
God has spoken to me different things regarding this scripture. Matthew’s account does not contain “He was about to pass them by. . .”. These words have haunted for so long and have spoken of my own fears of abandonment.
Maybe its about God calling us out deeper in our faith. Maybe Jesus was heading over and at that point their faith was strong, but then an extra large wave crashed into them. I don’t know. I do know, as I wrestle it out, how quickly circumstances can weaken my faith.
What do you think about this passage? Do you have a Scripture that haunts you?