— by wordwatcherdawn
Directly after this, Jesus made his disciples get aboard the boat and go on ahead to Bethsaida on the other side of the lake, while he himself sent the crowds home. And when he had sent them all on their way, he went off to the hill-side to pray. When it grew late, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was by himself on land. He saw them straining at the oars, for the wind was dead against them. And in the small hours he went towards them, walking on the waters of the lake, intending to come alongside them. But when they saw him walking on the water, they thought he was a ghost, and screamed out. For they all saw him and they were absolutely terrified. But Jesus at once spoke quietly to them, “It’s all right, it is I myself; don’t be afraid!”And he climbed aboard the boat with them, and the wind dropped. (Mark 6:45-51, J. B. Phillips, “The New Testament in Modern English”)
I have read this part of the gospel many times and I would usually focus on how astonishing it was that Jesus revealed his divine authority even concerning the forces of nature; and that we can see how He can rule and direct even the laws of nature. But this morning as I was reading this part, the whole story just dawned on me from a fresh perspective. Jesus loved his disciples, loved His chosen ones (even to the very end as we read in John13:1) and His compassionate love for the people was one of His main motivations (besides doing His Father’s will at all times). And even from this chapter we can see that His love was very practical: before the wind-incident we can see Him teaching a great crowd of people and besides dealing with their spiritual needs – He was teaching them many things pertaining to the kingdom of God – He also took care of their physical needs (hunger).
However, in this well-known part about the windy storm noted down by Mark what struck me sort of afresh was how He instantly reacted as soon as He saw His disciples’ need. They must have been very tired after a long day of ministering to the people with Jesus and it must have been very discouraging for them to have to struggle with this unforeseen weather circumstance. But Jesus did not want to see them grappling with the wind tiredly; neither did He want to see them despair amidst great fear, let alone to see them perish, so He set out to help them. He did not stay far away from them; He went – I believe He walked speedily – just right into their situation, into the middle of the windy storm. The wind was raging, indeed, but the Savior went into the very centre of it to be there with His disciples. And behind these acts of supernatural character revealing His divine identity – that He was walking on the water and then how He calmed the wind –, we can see His practical love and the desire to provide timely help as His motives. How compassionate and daring He was in this incident, how timely and divine was His help!
This has encouraged me a lot this morning: that when we are in the midst of a windy storm in our lives, He does not leave us there alone, watching our struggling dispassionately from afar, but He hurries right into the middle of it, to be there with us and – if we are willing to let Him do it – to take control of the situation. And when He is in it, when He is on our side, no mighty storm can defeat us.
Source of the illustration: http://freechristimages.org/biblestories/jesus_calms_the_storm.htm