47 Later that night, 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.
If you read the above and make it down to for they had not understood about the loaves you would need to understand the context by going a bit earlier in the same chapter. There you will read about how He fed five thousand men (the number of women and children are not noted) with five loaves of bread and two fish. As we all know, that is impossible especially with twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish (v43) left over.
Knowing what they (the disciples of Jesus) had participated in with the five loaves and two fish, it is with some surprise to read they were terrified when they saw Him walking on the lake. Wait a moment though, when they first saw Him they thought He was a ghost, they did not know what they were seeing was Jesus. until He identified Himself. Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.
Knowing He was not a ghost, but Jesus, They were (still) completely amazed for their hearts were hardened. This was not hardened as we might think of it as opposed to Jesus, but simply still not understanding or blinded as to who He was. They believed Him to be the Messiah, the Christ, but had yet to understand He was (is) in reality the Son of God. They knew He could perform miracles. In chapter three He healed a man’s shriveled hand and in chapter five He raised a girl from the dead just to name a few. Then in this chapter He fed 5,000 with five loaves and two fish!
But to walk on water and cause the wind to die down perhaps now they began to comprehend He was God in the flesh. Then when they landed at Gennesaret His power was even more revealed as the people carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 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 it were healed. (v55-56)
I wonder what lesson we are to draw from this? After all we live in a time when Arthur C. Clarke’s third law Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic seems to hold sway. Do our advanced technologies dull our minds, blind or harden our hearts to the point we no longer appreciate the miracles of God and what He can do without technology? I fear they often do. There is an old joke that demonstrates the problem with trying to equate technology with God our creator. You may find it here with a good discussion of the same. It goes like this
There’s a scientist and God. And the scientist challenges God to a contest of who can make the better human being. God tells him that he’s on, at which time the scientist, in great delight, bends over to pick up some dust to make his human being. Then God says, ‘No, no … you go and find your own dust.’
It’s Friday, I hope you have a Great Weekend and Remember to Go to Church where along with others you may marvel at the wonder of our Creator and His incredible mercy in His Free Gift of Grace.