October 13, 2021
In verse 48, there’s a short sentence that we modern readers of the Bible might get confused with. The verse says (in the NRSV): “He intended to pass them by.”
What does that mean? Was Jesus on his way somewhere else and just thought walking on the water was the quickest route? Was Jesus going somewhere without his disciples?
In Biblical tradition, “passing by” or “passing over” doesn’t just mean that someone is going by; it means to fully reveal the nature of someone. In the Old Testament, for example, God’s angel “passes over” Egypt, killing the first born of the Egyptians but saving the Hebrew people. In the Passover, the full nature of God’s justice and wrath is revealed, as well as his desire to save his people.
As Jesus walks on the water, this isn’t just a magic trick or something to wow and awe the disciples; the meaning of this verse is that Jesus is coming to the disciples and demonstrating to them, through a miracle, his true nature.
We serve a God who commands even the winds and waves, and through them reveals himself fully to us.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- What do you think Jesus walking on the water reveals about his nature and character?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- What is your favorite miracle story from the Bible?
Almighty God, you reveal your power to us in so many ways. Let the eyes of our hearts be opened to experience you in new and wonderful ways today. Amen.