Here is one of the most intriguing stories about Jesus and Miracles. It will build on what I wrote yesterday:
Mar 6:45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.
Mar 6:46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.
Mar 6:47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.
Mar 6:48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.
Mar 6:49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:
Mar 6:50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.
Mar 6:51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.
This passage struck me about 15 years ago and I have had the opportunity to walk out the Truth of this story. The most amazing part of this passage is verse 48,” And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them(emphasis mine).”
Jesus was performing supernatural acts by walking on the water. He was gliding over the breakers that were causing such great toil for the Disciples but His intention was not to SAVE them but just to WATCH them. It says that he “[…] would have passed by them.” The Saviour of the world was going to leave them in peril; He was going to allow them to physically work out the storm. He watched as His hand-picked apostles rowing through the storm but He didn’t run to their aid, He walked. And He was content do absolutely nothing. Does this sound like YOUR Saviour? Why doesn’t He rebuke the wind like He did previously (Mar. 4:35-41)?
Mar 4:37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
Mar 4:38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
Mar 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Mar 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Mar 4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
The interesting correlation is that neither time did Jesus Run to Rescue the Disciples. In Mark 4 He was asleep and in Mark 6 He was strolling (walking) toward them. What does this say about Jesus and what does this say about His expectation of us?
Jesus “would have passed by” because the Disciples didn’t need RESCUING they were doing fine on their own. We, as humans, don’t really know the limits of our abilities. We underestimate the amount of suffering we can take and still not be broken or be in a position of needing to be saved. Even though Jesus loved them deeply, he wasn’t about to take away the Miracle of Enduring Suffering.
Suffering, this is a term that some know very well and some are not familiar with at all. There is a huge misconception that being a Redeemed Child of God entitles us to live in a Suffering-proof Bubble, where even our smallest desires come to fruition. This is an ungodly belief and will be the undoing of Christians when real adversity strikes. What will you do if God doesn’t immediately answer you prayer with the same level of urgency in which you prayed it? Is He insensitive or negligent? No, He knows that you are completely capable of making it, and not only that you are capable of making that it is necessary for you to make it, without what we call “Divine Intervention.”
Jesus was already walking on the waves in supernatural power, all He needed to do was quell the storm; a simple nod of the head, a small waving hand gesture, or just whispering “shhhh.” Any of those 3 and the storm would have been over The Disciples could have enjoy a leisurely row to the other side, but it was necessary for them to ENDURE the STORM.
Enduring storms means that there is a RISK of loss; injury, death, emotional damage, splintered relationships, nervous breakdowns, rejection of God, etc. We don’t want RISK we want GUARANTEES, but there is no guarantee that we will not suffer loss. In fact, we will suffer loss. We will loss loved ones, health, financial security, relationships; these losses are inevitable. It doesn’t mean that He is not capable of thwarting every nuance or rain cloud that comes our way, it means that suffering is a part of life. Suffering is life.
1Pe 2:19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
1Pe 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Heb 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2Ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
There is no guarantee that your family will not suffer deaths and misfortunes, even in the midst of great intercession and prayer. Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. We are not exempt from suffering and death just yet, even though Jesus defeated them…we have to wait for the completion of our adoption. Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
It is not about what happens to us but about how we respond to what happens. So I leave you with the words that Paul gave to Timothy, 1Ti 1:18, “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest WAR a GOOD WARFARE (emphasis mine);”