Mark 6:45-52 NRSVue
45Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray.
47When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came toward them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by. 49But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out, 50for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” 51Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
When the apostles cried out something happened. It seemed to be like that with them - they were able to let their fear and terror out, and let Jesus know how they felt and their danger. Most of Jesus' signs and miracles happen when someone or a group asks with the heart. He is no magician, easy gift giver. Jesus and ourselves interact in faith. When we really ask for something, something always happens. What do you really want to ask him for in prayer? What storm in life needs calming? In your life or in another's? We know and believe that no prayer is unheard but that something good happens in our life when we speak to Jesus from the heart.
Jesus was praised by everyone. Something about him caught their attention, their attraction and their love. Maybe his words and the way he spoke them. One person can speak of the love of God in an affirming way, another in a threatening way. The people knew Jesus life as well as hearing his words. Only later would they reject him.
For now, in your prayer, how would you praise Jesus? What do you like about him? Praise and prayer go together.
He went to pray - something Jesus did very often. We know little of how he prayed, what he said, how he sat or stood. It doesn't seem to matter. Similarly with ourselves - how we pray is not as important as that we pray. The good advice of an early Christian writer was, ‘Pray as you can, not as you can't.'
Jesus' words "It is I", or simply "I Am", recall the name God gave himself when requested to do so by Moses in the Book of Exodus. (3:14) Here Mark is hinting at Jesus' divine status.
The boat can be taken as a symbol for Mark's little church, and the storm as a symbol for the persecution suffered by his Christian community. Jesus' words, "Do not be afraid" surely resonate with all Christians today who often live in an indifferent or hostile world.