Monday, February 2, 2015

Both Jesus and Criss Angel walks on the Water, but the One is the Lord of Miracle and the Other is only a Magician (Reflection on Mark 6:45-52)

After the miraculous feeding of the multitude, Jesus “made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to Bethsaida, on the other side of the lake, while he sent the crowd away” (Mark 6:45, GNB). I wonder, what was the reason behind this sudden decision? Apostle John gives the answer: Jesus wants to avoid the people who intended to take him by force and make him a king (John 6:15). Jesus is not like any other religious leaders. We cannot “make” him a King, he “is” the King. The people’s idea of Jesus is totally wrong because they were desperate and need king to overthrown the Roman government, a political and military leader king. But that is not what Jesus came to do. So Jesus hurried his disciples away to prevent them from being influenced by this mistaken enthusiasm. I think if Jesus “went away to a hill to pray” (6:46), withdrew himself for an extended time of solitary prayer was an indication of how seriously he viewed the situation.

When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, while Jesus was alone on land. He saw that his disciples were straining at the oars, because they were rowing against the wind; so sometime between three and six o'clock in the morning he came to them, walking on the water. He was going to pass them by, but they saw him walking on the water. “It's a ghost!” they thought, and screamed. They were all terrified when they saw him” (Mark 6:47-50, GNB)

When you read Mark chapter 1 to 6, just six chapters, you’ll noticed that Jesus is showing his power and authority over the evil spirits and demons, over sicknesses and diseases, over the Sabbath and religious rules, over life and death, and over the nature – waves and storms – and particularly here, over the sea. All of these supernatural power reveals Jesus’ divine identity, his Lordship. I read, for the Jews (as most ancient peoples), the sea was considered to be the dwelling place of demons. Plus, some of the commentators writes that there was a local rumour that the last thing a boatman saw before drowning in the lake Galilee was a ghost on the water. Now I know that when the disciples ran into a storm and saw something or rather someone walking on the water, they screamed, “It’s a ghost!”

I once watched a video on how Criss Angel, the Mindfreak magician, demonstrates his ability to walk on water. It was amazing. But magic is magic, no matter how amazing it is, it can be explain. Of course he didn't literally walk on water. I then watched another video of Val Valentino, the Masked Magician, performing his own version of walk-on-water illusion and explaining it at the end. He used plexiglass. Jesus walks on the water. How to explain this away? That Jesus also used plexiglass? Funny. Ha ha. That Jesus actually walked on ice? Nonsense. That Jesus was simply walking by the seashore, it was dark and the disciples mistook him to be actually walk on water? Now, the disciples are slow in learning but they are not stupid. They were terrified, remember? (If Jesus walks by the seashore, why would they be terrified?). Thus, Jesus is walking on water.

Jesus spoke to them at once, ‘Courage!’ he said. ‘It is I. Don't be afraid!’ Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind died down” (Mark 6:50-51). The lesson in Mark 4:35-41 relearned again here. The disciples’ terror here shows their lack of faith. Once more Jesus had to rescue them when their faith failed. They have seen Jesus commanded the wind and the storm, now they saw Jesus trampled the sea underfoot. They have heard Jesus’ questions “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (4:40), now they listened to Jesus’ assurance statement, “Courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid!” They were “completely amazed, because they had not understood the real meaning of the feeding of the 5,000; their minds could not grasp it” (Mark 6:50-51), now If they do, they wouldn’t have been so amazed at Jesus walking on the water and calming the wind.

Here are some questions for us today:
Jesus is King, but is he the King and Lord of your life?
Jesus have power and authority over everything, have you entrusted your life to him?
Jesus is the Lord of Miracle not a magician,
are there any ‘storms’ in your life that you want Jesus to calm down?
Jesus is God, do you need more courage and faith to face trials and temptations in your life?
Jesus feed the five thousand, walk on water and calming the wind,
do you still don’t understand His divinity as the Son of God?
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