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Mark 6:45-52

Mark 6:45-52

Categories:

Series: The Gospel of Mark
Sermon: Jesus the “I am”
Bible Passage: Mark 6:45-52

I. Jesus urged His disciples to go to Bethsaida by boat without Him from the place where He fed the multitude (verse 45)

1. After He dispatched them, He spent one-on-one time with the Father in prayer on the mountain (verse 46)
2. For some reason, the boat ended up in the middle of the Sea instead of going to the intended place, Bethsaida (verse 47)
3. Jesus was watching them from the land (verses 47-48)

a. Jesus saw them struggling to make progress
b. The wind was blowing against them
c. They seem to have spent significant amount of time and effort on the water, but they were unable to make progress!
d. Though Jesus left them alone on the boat, they were not out of His sight!

II. Jesus comes towards the struggling, stranded disciples (verse 48; cf. Exod 3:7-8)

1. Jesus came towards them by walking on the water

a. Only one Person is able to walk on water
b. Job 9:8: He [the LORD] alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea
c. Psalm 77:19: Your [the LORD] path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen
d. It is a theophany—God appearing to human being

2. Jesus wanted to “pass by” them (παρέρχομαι)

a. In the Bible, the phrase “pass by” refers to “pass in view of” rather than “go beyond”

i. Exod 33:19: And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence
ii. Exod 34:6: And he passed in front of Moses
iii. 1 Kings 19:11 The Lord said to Elijah, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by

b. It is an expression of theophany—God appearing to human being
c. By using this expression, Mark underlines who Jesus is
d. Just as the LORD appeared to Moses and Elijah, He appeared to the disciples

3. Jesus tells his disciples “I am” (verse 50c; cf. Exod 3:14; Deut 32:39; Isa 41:4; John 8:58)

a. Jesus not only does what YHWH did, but He introduced Himself as “I am”
b. The express “I am” is the name of Yahweh
c. Just as the LORD came to Moses when the people of Israel were suffering in Egypt, Jesus comes to them when the wind and waves were buffeting them (verse 48)

4. When Jesus entered the boat, the storm abated (verse 51)

III. Response of the disciples

1. Instead of awe and worship, the disciples were afraid and bewildered (verses 49-52)

a. The disciples missed the revelation that God intended to give them
b. They were not spiritually perceptive— for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened

IV. What spiritual lessons we learn

1. Both the passages teach that when human resources become helpless, Jesus becomes the ultimate resource
2. Just as God revealed Himself as “I am” in the midst of human struggles (cf. Exod 3:14), Jesus reveals Himself as I AM in the midst of human insufficiency, struggles, and fear
3. Just as God is revealed as “gracious and merciful” in Exod 34:6, Jesus is revealed as “gracious and merciful” to the disciples who are in distress
4. Life without Jesus is like the boat that was buffeted in the middle of the water, not making progress but being drifted away aimlessly
5. But, life around Jesus is secure and has direction

Take Away:

Make sure Jesus is in your boat to help in your struggles and to be your guide

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at wjsubash@crossroadbangalore.org