Treading the Waves

He speaks to the sun and it does not shine; he seals off the light of the stars. He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.

Job 9:7-9

I love sailing.  Given the choice, I’d be out on the water every day during Spring, Summer and Autumn, pottering about in my boat, trying to make it go faster, testing myself against the elements, and generally enjoying speeding across the surface of the water.  As sports go, in my mind it can’t be beaten.  Having grown up sailing, I decided a few years ago that I would take up windsurfing.  I discovered that windsurfing is much harder than it looks.  One of the first things that must be mastered is just the act of balancing on the board.  When that’s been done, just practising pulling the sail up and moving into position on the board is incredibly tricky.  Most people spend more time in the water than on the water, and I was (and, I’m ashamed to admit it, still am!) amongst their number.  I might as well try walking across the water – I’d get no wetter!

In today’s verses, Job says it’s pointless arguing against God, because he is the creator of all things.  He can tell the sun not to shine, and it does not.  He can stop the stars from twinkling.  He created the heavens and all the stars.  Additionally, he alone, as the Lord of creation, is the only one who could tread on the waves of the sea.

Yet this is exactly what Jesus does in Mark 6, in our current Mark Marathon article.  He calmly walks across the lake straight into the wind, and is about to pass the disciples in a boat.  There is no doubt at all in their minds that their master is walking on the water.  They even think that he is a ghost!  Job, though, in the Old Testament, tells us that one person alone can do this – and that is God.  Here, then, we have Jesus clearly laying claim to divinity, trying to prove to his appointed disciples that he is not just their master, not just an inspirational teacher, but he is in fact God.  I don’t know whether the disciples grasped this for themselves.  They were terrified to see a man walking on the surface of the water.  They must have been even more terrified if they had recognized this man they thought they knew as Jesus.

Here, then, we see evidence once again that Jesus is God.  Will you recognize that Jesus is the son of God, and accept him as your saviour?  Or will you choose to think of him merely as a nice guy and a good teacher?  Opting for the former could transform your life.  Will you accept this transformation?

Jesus – Lord of Nature

If he holds back the waters, there is drought; if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.

Job 12:15

With global warming seemingly in the news every week, rising sea levels have become a real concern in recent years.  We’re always being told that if things continue as they are at the moment, in just a few decades the centre of London – including the Houses of Parliament – will be underwater.

On the east coast of England, though, encroaching seas have long been a problem, largely due to erosion rather than rising sea levels, but flooding is very much a concern.  Every year, a new section of sea defence is built, whilst just along the coast another is smashed to bits by the forces of nature.  I often find myself thinking that those who design and build sea defences are fighting a losing battle – no one can stop the force of the sea.

That view is precisely what the disciples find themselves questioning in our current Mark Marathon article, after Jesus , with a few words, succeeds in calming the waters of the Sea of Galilee.  Surely no-one can do what they have just seen Jesus do.  It must have been at this point that they must have really been wondering who, precisely, Jesus is.

Throughout the New Testament, the claim is made that Jesus is the Son of God – and indeed, is God himself – one third of the Trinity.  By demonstrating that he has power over nature in this incident, Jesus makes it all the more clear to his disciples who he is.  In this passage from Job, we see the power that God has over the seas – he can cause droughts simply be stopping water, and he can flood the land simply by releasing the water.  Since he, during creation, created land and water, and separated the land from the water, it stands to reason that he can control it.  Since God can do this, and Jesus is in fact God, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be able to simply quell a small storm.

The disciples were left wondering just who Jesus was after this adventure on the water.  Maybe it’s a good time for us to reflect likewise.