45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. 47 When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
53 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.
Thoughts: Mark records "they were amazed for they had not understood about the loaves- their hearts were hardened." What had they not understood? Could it be the same thing many of us do not understand- that is, the power of God over life- and even the elements? Perhaps we are willing to secularize our country and our lives so much- regulating God to a very small portion- because we do not stand at amazement at His power? The One who changes a little bit of food for enough for many- can change our lives for the better. The One who changes the wind and walks on water is the One who has offered to be a help to us. It is truly a great thing when Christians obey God because they trust Him. We find peace and strength from our Lord when we know we can rely on Him- even in the middle of the storms in our life.
Prayer: Lord, soften my heart; open my eyes; give me grace to understand and trust in you as my everyday Savior.
John Calvin abridged: 46- "He went up to a mountainside to pray" While Paul enjoins us to pray "at all times and places" (1 Tim 2:8), this does not stop the need to pray in solitude. The slightest interruptions may destroy or cool the passion to pray. Praying alone to God encourages us to 1) be more on our guard; 2) to pour our heart into his bosom; 3) be more diligent in self-examination, and 4) remembering we have to do with God and rise above ourselves. Christ permitted his disciples to be tossed about in a perilous condition by an opposing storm so that their attention would be more powerfully focused on the assistance which he brought to them. The adverse wind rose about midnight and Christ appears three hours before sunrise. Their arms were not more fatigued by rowing than their faith was shaken by grievous terrors. 52- They were charged with blindness because they allowed the revealing of his divinity-and his ability to help his disciples- that he showed when he multiplied the loaves to fade from their memories. Mark uses the term "blindness" to remind us that our hearts are hard unless we are enlightened from above (Deut. 29:4). It is not a new thing when people are blind to the manifest works of God.