Passing By!

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There they were, the men closest to Jesus, crossing the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had told them as it grew dark to get into their ship and cross over…

Mark 6:45-47 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. 46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. 47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.

Jesus was on the land in quiet prayer with the Father and there were His disciples, struggling against the raging water at 3 o’clock in the morning…

Mark 6:48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night… 

He was there and they were here. Doesn’t that feel familiar? We feel that Jesus is far far away from us and is totally unaware of our pressing circumstances. But just like it was for the disciples it is for us… he saw them toiling. 

Now, I have read the miracle of Jesus walking on the water many many times, but the other day I saw something that had never caught my eye before…

… he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea..and would have passed by them.

When I read that statement it got me to thinking about Jesus passing by the blind man in Luke…

Luke 18:37-38 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. 38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

What about the two men on the road to Emmaus…

Luke 24:28-29 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

In both cases Jesus would have passed them by if they had not called out to Him. And so it was with the disciples in the boat. Jesus never intrudes into our life, no matter what the circumstances are. He always waits for our “invitation.”

So, there He was, walking on the waves as though they were the Roman road, and He would have walked right past them. All the power they needed to be lifted out of their circumstances was right there, but it would not be of any benefit to them if they didn’t ask. But, even though they didn’t really understand and thought they were seeing a ghost, they cried out…

Mark 6:49-50 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: 50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. 

That’s all it took… they cried out. And in an instant He responded… Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. 

Mark 6:51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

And that was all it took. But the next verse tells the tale.

Mark 6:52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

They had just witnessed the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5000, and here they were with “hardened hearts.” Isn’t that just like us? Jesus has responded to our cries many times and yet in the midst of distress we forget that He is not miles away, He is right there and about to pass us by. If it is the Lord out there walking on our circumstances then all we need to do is say goodbye to fear. We can hear His voice in the midst of our circumstances just like His disciples did in that boat. It’s His voice that calms our emotions… It is I! He is the one who speaks right into our fearful mind… Be not afraid! All of which transpires as He climbs into our boat and brings total calm in the midst of our chaos.

Let’s not be like the disciples in the midst of our storm. The word for “hardened” means calloused, dull, void of understanding. How soon they forgot the miracle of the loaves and the fish and turned away from the One who had just performed that miracle. How quickly they fell into fear.

The next time our circumstance are about to overwhelm us, we need to remember the blind man, the two on the road to Emmaus and the disciples in the boat and cry out. Where Jesus sends us He is never far away… we just can’t let Him pass us by.

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