Title:  The Perfect Storm


Summary:  When Jesus walked on the water, he demonstrated his divinity in the act of and the location of the miracle along with his words.  He demonstrated that God comes near to his people and remains with them even when we don't fully understand him.  We should keep ourselves aware of his ongoing presence, which will give perspective and encouragement


Text:  Mark 6:45-56


Scripture Reading:  Ps 107:23-32



1.  Bob hear a rumor that his father, grandfather, and great grandfather all had

     walked on water on their 21st birthday

          a.  On his 21st birthday, Bob got a boat and tried it repeatedly

          b.  Frustrated, went home and asked his mother about it, "Why can't I do

     the same as them on my 21st birthday?"

          c.  Answer, "Their birthdays were in January, yours was in July"

d.  Jesus walked on water, but did not need a frozen pond to do so

2.  This miracle a little different that most of his others

          a.  Most of his miracles helped people with a need - sick, hungry,

      demonized, blind, etc.

          b.  Jesus typically did not do magician's stunts, like a rabbit from hat

          c.  Jesus' miracles were an assault on Satan's strongholds

          d.  In these, he is binding the strong man and plundering his house, letting

     the captive go free

3.  This miracles is a little different

          a.  On the surface, it may appear to be something like magician's trick

          b.  Does not appear to meet a need nor does it seem an assault on Satan

          c.  But a closer look - It is still tending a need, perhaps the greatest one

          d.  Greatest need is to know and accept him as Lord & Savior

4.  (Mk 6:45-56)

          a.  Mark does not mention Peter's short-lived walk on water

                    - Seem strange, especially if Mark is recording the words of Peter

                    - Perhaps Peter wants to focus on Jesus, rather than on himself

                    - Rather than a lesson on how Jesus can rescue you from the Sea,

  maybe text is focusing on another lesson - that will be our focus

          b.  Reaction of the Disciples

                    - Terrified - not recognized Jesus, thought he a ghost

                    -  Astonished - the storm stopped immediately

                    - Both reactions because they not understand who Jesus was

          c.  They did not gain any insight from the incident of the loaves

                    - v.34 - They were like sheep without a shepherd

                    - v.35 - Disciples told Jesus to send the crowd away to find food

                    - v.37 - Jesus said YOU feed them

                              = Would be 200 days salary, $11,000-12,000

                              = Jesus miraculously feeds thousands in the wilderness

                              = 12 basked leftover.  Plenty for all of God's people

                    - Who feeds thousands of people in the wilderness?  God!

                              = Ps 23 - Yahweh is my shepherd

                              = Leads me beside still waters

                              = Prepares a table for me

                              = Not a hard thing for God to do for his sheep

          d.  At least 2 lessons they were to learn on the sea that night


I.  Jesus is Divine

          A.  Jesus is not just a human being

          B.  This miracle demonstrates this on several levels

                    1.  Most obvious level is the miracle itself

                              a.  Ordinary people do not walk across a lake

                              b.  For the creator, it would be effortless

                    2.  Look at little deeper at what is happening here

                              a.  It is called the Sea of Galilee

                                        - Not really a sea, but a lake

                                        - Lake is limna, which is the word Luke uses

                                                  = "Lake of Gennesaret" or just "lake"

                                                  = Also called "Lake Tiberias"

                                        - Matthew uses "thalassa" Sea

                              b.  "Sea" would evoke certain images in ancient times

                              c.  ANE background on the sea

                                        - Most viewed the sea as an unruly place of cosmic

   and supernatural danger and evil

                                        - In most cosmologies, the sea was originally an

   unruly deity, a chaos monster

                                        - Their deity had to slay the monster and create the

   order of the universe

                                                  = Akkadian - Marduk slew Tiamat

                                                  = Canaanite - Baal slew Yam/Lotan/Leviathan

                                                  = Egyptian - Ra slew Apep

                                                  = etc. etc.

                    3.  Seems to be echoes of this in the Old Testament

                              a.  Examples:

- Job 9:8 Who alone stretches out the heavens And

   tramples down the waves of the sea;

- Job 26:12 "He quieted the sea with His power, And

   by His understanding He shattered Rahab.  By His

   breath the heavens are cleared; His hand has

   pierced the fleeing serpent.

                                        - Ps 74:13-14 - You divided the sea by Your strength;

You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters.  You crushed the heads of Leviathan; You gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.

- Is 51:9-10 - Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm

of the LORD; Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, Who pierced the dragon? Was it not You who dried up the sea, The waters of the great deep; Who made the depths of the sea a pathway For the redeemed to cross over?

                              b.  Interesting what some scholars say as a result

                                        - Akkadian Cosmology - Marduk slew Tiamat

- Canaanite Cosmology - Baal slew Yam

                                        - Hebrew cosmology, Yahweh slew Leviathan

                              c.  Problem - They completely ignore Genesis 1

                                        - Genesis 1 - No primordial battle

                                        - These texts about a battle are all poetic texts, not

   narrative texts

                                        - These poetic texts are colorful ways of describing

   the battle using imagery well known at the time

                                        - These texts refer to God's battle with human

   enemies, such as Pharaoh, not other deities

                              d.  To demonstrate my point - What is the opposite of Satan?

                                        - It is not God, God is in a class all by himself

                                        - Bible makes it clear that any supernatural adversary

  are nothing more than a creation of God

                                                  = Ps 104:26 There the ships move along, {And}

             Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in


= Job 40:15  "Behold now, Behemoth, which I

    made as well as you

= Everything that exists is a creation of God

                                        - Opposite of Satan would be something like Michael,

   the arch-angel

                                        - God has not true rivals, he is the only one that is


                    4.  Here is God's perspective on all of this from his speech in Job

- Job 38:8-11  "Or who enclosed the sea with doors

When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb; When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band, And I placed boundaries on it And set a bolt and doors, And I said, 'Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop'?

                              - Imagery of a baby with swaddling clothes - This is God's

  creation, and he limits it, limits Satan, limits evil

                              - God in complete control - works everything for his purpose

                              - POINT - Jesus walks on water, trampling waves, doing only

  what God does - shows WHO he is

          C.  ILL: When I was in the Air Force, pulled guard duty at the door

                    1.  People had to show ID in the window before coming in

                    2.  Had to take time, look carefully at credentials

                    3. Checked face, checked name with name on uniform

                    4.  If it all matched, then this person could pass

          D.  Jesus showed his "ID" on the sea - actions were God's actions

                    1.  Disciples should have recognized from the loaves and from this

     who he is

                    2.  To make it even more clear, Jesus said, "Do not fear, I AM"

                              a.  In Greek, is is "ego eimi"

                                        - Not just "eimi," which means "I am"

                                        - "Ego eimi" is "I AM" emphasis on "I"

                                        - This is how Exodus 3:14 translates Hebrew, "ehyeh

  asher ehyeh" - I am who I am

                                        - God told Moses, "Tell them I AM sent you"

                              b.  Similar to Jn 8:58 - Before Abraham was, "I am"

                              c.  Jesus is affirming his identity as God

                    3.  If they understood his identity, would not have been simply

     amazed or astonished, this is what God does

                    4.  What is amazing is not his activity, but the fact he came down to

     us as a human being like us . . .


II.  Our Lord is always involved and with us

          A.  Mt 1:23 says that Jesus is "Immanuel" - God with us

          B.  Text reminds of this in several ways

                    1.  Jesus was on the mountain and saw his disciples straining at

     the oars

                              a.  Sea of Galilee is 64 square mile, 13 by 8 miles wide

                              b.  Boat would have been 4 to 7 miles away!

                              c.  He sees us no matter where we are!

                              d. Reminded of Gen 16:13 - Hagar driven away by Sarah

                                        -  She in the wilderness, all alone

                                        - God came to her, promised to multiply her

   descendants, too many to count

                                        - Would have a son, named "Ishmael" - God listens

                                        - She called God, "El-Ro'i" - The God who sees!

                              e.  Rev 5:6 - Jesus depicted as a lamb with 7 eyes!

                                        - They are the 7 spirits of God sent out into all the


                                        - No matter where you are, He sees

                                        - You are never ever out of his sight

                    2.  He intended to pass them by

                              a.  Seems he just going to ignore them?  But he didn't

                              b.  This is not the first time that the Lord "passed by"

                              c.   Ex 34:6 - Moses asked God to show him his glory

- God put him in the cleft of the rock

- Lord showed Moses his glory when he "passed by"

  him in the cleft of the rock

                              d. 1 Kng 19:10-13 - Elijah thought he was all alone & was

     ready to give up

          - 1 Kin 19:11 - So He said, "Go forth and stand on the

   mountain before the LORD." And behold, the LORD

   was passing by!

          - God showed him that he was not alone

                    3.  Jesus showed them they were not alone

                              a.  As God had done before, he "passed by" and showed

     them that they were not alone

                              b.  He said, "Do not fear, I AM" - the Lord is with them

                              c.  Got in the boat, and the storm stopped

                              d.  They made it safely to the other side

          C.  ILL:  I remember taking out kids to the park when they were little

                    1.  They easily could stray to far away, out of sight

                    2.  Would say, "get back over here" before they too far away

                    3.  But we are never out of our Lord's sight - He sees us struggling

     at the oars and is with us

          D.  Some of us, like the disciples, may not have this insight yet

                    1.  I knew a person who things God is not very involved

                              a.  He would never say it that way

                              b.  He rejects what others say about God's presence as

     misguided and overly sentimental -

                                        - I pray that God show me the way, guide me

                                        - God has been leading me toward this

                                        - I am asking God to help me with this decision

                              c.  He said that we just need to use our best judgment, and

     there is nothing more to it than this

                              d.  Faith, according to his words, is accepting doctrinal facts

     and nothing more - it is very academic

                    2.  On the other hand, I know a lady who is the opposite

                              a.  She intensely senses the presence of God at all times

                                        - Prays at the drop of a hat, as if God is right there

                                        - Never does anything without consulting God

                                        - Thanks God for even the smallest things

                                        - She senses God's leadership, she is not alone

                              b.  Her intimacy with God made the other guy uncomfortable

                              c.  Can say she is very, very insightful about people and

     situations, very well adjusted emotionally, full of wisdom

                              d.  Other people often go to her for advice - always seem to

     know the right thing to say or do

                    3.  Some of us may still have a ways to go in understanding God's

     presence, and that is okay

                              a.  Regardless of their level of understanding and

     perception, Jesus was still with his disciples

                              b.  Jesus said, "Lo I am with you, even to the end of the age"

                              c.  His being with us is not dependent on our understanding

     how he is with us

                    4.  As you read, pray, worship, and serve, God is with you, always



1.  Whatever you are dealing with, God has come near

          a.  Jesus was not just a man, he came from Heaven for you

          b.  He came so that he could die for your sins

          c.  If you believe that Jesus came from Heaven, died, & rose (inv)

2.  If done this, realize that God is a God who sees, hears, and acts

          a.  Do you pray, "God be with us" or "God be with so and so?"

          b.  Why?  Is God not with us part of the time?

          c.  We need to become acutely aware of his presence in our lives

          d.  I don't have a formula for this - but prayer, reflection, meditation, along

               with sacrificial service and ministry helps

3.  Don't forget to talk to him

          a.  When faced with a decision

          b.  When something good happens in your life

          c.  When you get in an argument, or get angry

          d.  When you are sad, feel abandoned, feel all alone

4.  You are never alone