Friday, June 22, 2007

Mark 6:47-49 47 And when it was evening, the boat was in the midst of the sea, and He was alone on the land. 48 And seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night, He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them. 49 But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out;

It is always amazing to me when higher critics (i.e. liberals) attempt to take the clear definitive statements of the supernatural in the Gospels and seek to explain it away as myth. One of which is H. J. Holzmann (1832-1910) who was a professor at Heidelberg and was among the first to advocate the Two-Source Theory of the Gospels. The two-source theory is a theory which bases the writings of Matthew and Luke on two primary sources: 1) The Gospel of Mark; and 2) Another Gospel known as "Q." This is terribly unfortunate and extremely critical. These higher critics want to explain away all supernatural and explain it away as myth. I adhere to the simple truth that each of the four Gospel writers - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - each wrote their own accounts and did not need to simply "copy" accounts from another Gospel writer. Instead, the four gospels beautifully complement one another to give us a full and marvelous vision of the beautiful Savior we have, namely Jesus Christ.

With that to say, I am preaching on Mark 6 this Sunday and am finding the account of Jesus walking on the water is subject to vast amounts of exegetical gymnastics by those who attempt to claim that Jesus was NOT really walking on water. I'm not sure how you get around it when the text says, "Jesus walked on the water," but I guess some try to explain it away.

Let me explain. The phrase in verse 48, "walking to them on the sea" literally could be translated from the Greek, "walking upon the sea." Liberals attempt to show that Jesus here was walking on the seashore and NOT on the sea. But this theory is debunked for the word here means "sea" (thalasseis) and NOT "seashore" (aigialos). This is a simple understanding of the languages that these "scholars" have failed to notice.

Others, however, attempt to say that the sea was not very deep at that point and thus Jesus was walking on a sandbar. Well, that is a nice and cute thought, but this theory also fails when one understands that the boat was itself sailing on the sea. How could a boat (carrying the disciples) be upon the sea if they are on a "sandbar?"

May I propose one final solution? That is, let us read the Scriptures at face value. If it says, "Jesus walked on water," then let's believe that Jesus Christ really walked upon the water! If it says that "Jesus fed 5,000 men with only a few small fish," then let's believe that Jesus really fed at least 5,000 people with this small amount of food.

It is (and oftentimes does bring a chuckle) humorous at times to read some of these crazy ideas from scholars who attempt to allegorize or explain away the supernatural in the ministry of Jesus Christ.

On the other hand, it is not humorous. It is saddening. It is discomforting. It is eternally damning. For a person to seek to explain away the miraculous is to agree that Jesus Christ is not really the God-Man. Thus, a person is lost and in need of salvation.

May we be those who read the Scripture and worship Christ to the ultimate glory of God because our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, did indeed walk upon the waters and then still the raging sea with the power sourced in him. To God be the glory!

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