Friday of 3 Lent – March 20, 2020

Read Mark 6:47-56

In modern commentaries on Mark’s Gospel, when you get to this pericope you will find many writers who want to dismiss this miracle as fantasy.  For example, George Young says, “Jesus projected an image of himself while remaining on the shore.”  Albert Schweitzer suggested that the disciples saw Jesus walking on the shore, but were confused by high wind and darkness.  And Vincent Taylor said, “perhaps Jesus waded through the surf.”  But Jesus declared to the Father that “Thy Word is Truth.”

What strikes me as contradictory is that men who are Christian writers can accept that Jesus was the Son of God, born of a virgin, was raised from the dead by the Father, and is seated with Him in glory.  But these same theologians and biblical scholars can’t accept that He could walk on water.  Mark, they conclude, was not an eyewitness to the events he recorded in these early chapters, and so we cannot trust that this was a historical event.

But Mark wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  And as we have noted, and has been attested by early Church fathers, he was tutored by the Apostle Peter.  The first century father, Papias, wrote that “Mark became Peter’s interpreter and wrote accurately all that he remembered.”  This view is supported by other early Church fathers such as, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Clement, and Origen, among others.  Thy Word is Truth.

For young Mark it was crucial for him to both hear and believe in the all-encompassing power and authority of Jesus.  That is a truth to which all of us must cling in this uncertain world.  An early fourth century hymn beautifully proclaims our confidence in Christ:  “O mighty is the power of God, the power that all things did create, that calmed the waters of the sea when Christ upon its surface walked…”  There is no storm too large for Jesus to calm.

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