Mark's Gospel Part 27, Mark 6:45-56 ‘A Ghostly Experience on the Water’


This week Sean looks at what happened after Jesus fed the 5,000. He sent his disciples on ahead of him, to cross Lake Galilee in a boat, whilst he took some time for solitude and prayer. As the disciples battled against a strong headwind rowing across the lake, Jesus caught up with them, bizarrely walking on the water. Naturally this frightened the life out of the disciples. They thought they were seeing a ghost, but Jesus reassured them, using language that carried a sense that he was indeed the almighty and not a ghost emerging from the depths of the sea. The same power that he had used to feed and heal people, was also the same power that he exhibited over the natural elements. But they, along with many others weren’t seeing it like that, despite the constant threads of familiar imagery through the ancient scriptures they may have been familiar with, it wasn’t adding up. Their faith was weak and their hearts were hard and not open to the possibility of seeing things differently. As they landed on the shoreline, hysteria followed Jesus. All kinds of people from all kinds of places brought the sick to him to be healed. In what perhaps resembled superstitious optimism, more than faith, Jesus graciously healed many many people. This was a far cry from the rejection he had experienced in his hometown of Nazareth. Despite, neither the disciples nor the crowds fully grasping who Jesus was exactly, his ministry among Jews and gentiles, rich and poor, city dwellers and country folk, continued as did the disciples learning. The original recipients of these writings were persecuted Christians in Rome, who will have appreciated the reminder of Christ being present during unpredictable hardship and of his divine power at work in their midst. Early church writers often saw the church as a boat being tossed around on the sea, a community of people experiencing hardship. Today, it continues to be in just such communities of Jesus followers, whether the organised church or the disorganised church, that true faith is nurtured and the true nature of Christ is revealed. “From a Christian perspective, God is ever present, yet it is within the context of community, the ancient “ship of the church”, that faith is fostered and supported”. Theologian Mary Ann Beavis, in ‘Mark’, Paideia Commentary on the New Testament, 2011. Sean Stillman is God’s Squad’s International President and member of GSCMC South Wales, UK. ————————————————————— You can also read the relevant bible passage, Mark 6:45-56 online at: You can also subscribe to this series playlist on YouTube here:    • Marks Gospel Series   and also find 150+ additional bible reflections and stories, from various God’s Squad members around the world. Other scripture references in this presentation include: Job 8:9 Psalm 77:19 Exodus 14:8 Psalm 95:8 Isaiah 43:25, 48:12, 51:12 Numbers 15:38ff, Deut. 22:12 _________________________________________ This presentation, and many of the previous and following ones in this series that Sean will present, includes references, quotes and research from the following sources; Meeting God in Mark, Rowan Williams, 2014. Binding the Strong Man, Ched Myers, 1998, (2008 edition) Mark, Paideia Commentary on the New Testament, Mary Ann Beavis, 2011. The Gospel of Mark, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, William L. Lane, 1974. The Gospel According to St. Mark, Black’s New Testament Commentaries, Morna D. Hooker, 1981, (2003 edition) Life on the Road, Athol Gill, 1992. Mark, New International Biblical Commentary, Larry W. Hurtado, 1983, (1998 edition). Mark, Tyndale New Testament Commentary, R. Alan Cole, 1961, (1989 edition) #godssquad #marksgospel #discipleship #mark6 #kingdomofgod #gscmc #christianbikers #jesus