Lord of Creation | Mark 6:48–52
48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, 50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
Mark writes to the Romans, who divide the night into four watches. The fourth watch is the last before dawn, approximately 3:00–6:00pm. This means that they had spent hours trying to travel the sea to no avail. After rowing for so long, and their arms had grown tired, they were unable to move forward on their own. But they were still in clear view of Christ.
Jesus reflects is the image of God. We read in v. 48, “He meant to pass by them,” perhaps an echo of the Septuagint in Exodus 33:19, 22, where the Lord passes by Moses. In v. 50, He says, “I am”—an oddly emphatic statement on the personal pronoun (equivalent to the Spanish “Yo soy”)—exactly how the Septuagint renders “I AM” (Ex 3:14; Dt 32:39; Is 41:4; 43:10, 13, 25; 45:18; 52:6; Hos 13:4; Jl 2:27). In Hebrews 1:3, we read that “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of [God’s] nature.”
Jesus reflects what they know not. According to v. 49, they literally they thought He was a phantasm. This evidences that even the disciples did not understand exactly Who He was (cf. v. 52). They have enough information to understand Him to have all the power of heaven and earth; He’s the Lord of creation, multiplying food and controlling weather. Yet, their hearts are hard to the truth right in front of them.
Sin and spiritual apathy can make us grow cold to the true Person of Jesus Christ. Those who never know Him fear Him, not knowing what will come next. Thankfully, Jesus condescends and helps the disciples know Him. The wonderful news of Scripture is that the Lord of all creation meets us in times of struggle and unbelief, especially when we have nothing left to offer Him. Open the Scripture and seek Him, and He will help you to know Him better therein!