You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘boat’ tag.

I had never before heard teaching like this. Who is this man who teaches what the Kingdom of God is like? His words resonate with me like none other. “It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”

A mustard seed so small yet it grows large to support birds. Could someone like me, so insignificant, be seen as so great in the Kingdom of God? I continue to listen, drawn to his teaching, hanging on every word until evening approaches. Finally I watch as he wraps up and walks away from the crowd. I hear him tell his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”

I don’t want him to go. I see him get into the boat with his disciples and they push off from shore. I see other boats push off from shore to follow them. I quickly run to shore and spot my friend starting to push his boat into the lake. “Let me go with you!” I shout as I run toward the boat. My friend smiles and waves at me as he pauses. I quickly climb onboard and he shoves off.

We start to follow not too far behind Jesus’ boat when suddenly a furious squall comes up. The waves break over the boat so that it is near the point of sinking. We fear for our lives. In the midst of the panic in our boat I catch a glimpse of Jesus getting up. A moment later the wind dies down and it is completely calm. I have never been so fearful in calm water.

We were close enough to the boat to hear Jesus across the still water. “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” I was sure he was speaking to his disciples, yet his words penetrated my heart. Across the water I could hear his disciples asking each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Indeed, who is this man? Is he truly the son of God? I wonder if I, like the wind and the waves, could obey his words.

#WednesdayWalk Through the Bible — an exploration of what unknown people might have seen or felt when they witnessed the events in the Bible. This post is based on Mark 4:30-41 (NIV), particularly verse 36 which mentions, “There were also other boats with him.” It is written from the perspective of someone who ends up in one of those boats after listening to Jesus teaching.

© 2019 CGThelen

John 6:16-21 is a familiar passage in the Bible where Jesus walks on the water. I have read it many times and heard many sermons on this passage, but when I read it this morning one verse really stood out: “Then they were willing to take him into the boat (verse 21, NIV).” I wonder why they hesitated to take Jesus into the boat?

Verse 16-17 tells us the disciples opted to cross the lake to Capernaum without Jesus. It was dark and, “A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough (18).” As fisherman, many of the disciples were in familiar water. Verse 19 tells us they had “rowed three or four miles” — a long time — but it doesn’t say they were “frightened” until “they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water.”

This is a decision point for the disciples. “Is what I’m seeing really Jesus, miraculously walking on the water?” I picture them saying, “We’ve been navigating these rough seas on our own without Jesus. After all, we’re experienced fisherman.” Jesus is showing them a different way to navigate rough waters. It’s a frightening thing to acknowledge him as the son of God — to accept him as the Messiah and let him into your boat.

Jesus knows our fears. He knows the difficulty we have in letting him into our boat to take control; to drop the oars and cease the straining against the storms of life without Jesus. The disciples took Jesus at his word and “they were willing to take him into the boat (21).” The rest of verse 21 tells us: “and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.”

I imagine the disciples were not sure exactly how they immediately reached their destination as soon as Jesus entered the boat. Yet I think they could see that as soon as they let Jesus into the boat, somehow they made it across the stormy sea; somehow, in some inexplicable way, Jesus led them to safe passage.

© 2019 CGThelen

Categories

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,023 other followers

140 Character Christian on Twitter