Post image for 29 Jun 2009: John 6:21

29 Jun 2009: John 6:21

by Stephen Hebert on Monday - 29 June 2009

in Biblical Studies, New Testament

In keeping with yesterday’s idea of picking out one strange thing in a miracle of Jesus, let’s look at the next item after the Feeding of the 5,000Jesus Walks on Water.

John’s version of the story is a little different from the Synoptic versions. John dispenses with the idea that Peter too walked on water. Instead, John’s story is short and quick and fraught with troubling questions:

  • Why did the disciples set sail without Jesus?
  • What was Jesus doing before he walked on water? Was he still up on the mountain doing his thing?
  • Why is the “storm” absent (there is a “great wind” but no storm)?

Here’s my question that I’m curious about:

Did Jesus and the disciples make use of some crazy Star Trek transporter system to get to where they were going?

Let’s look at the verse:

Hebert Translation Nestle-Aland 27
They were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was upon the land to which they were going. ἤθελον οὗν λαβεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ πλοῖον, καὶ εὐθέως ἐγένετο τὸ πλοῖον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς εἰς ἣν ὑπῆγον.

Let’s forget for a moment the weirdness of Jesus’ walking across the water and how this freaks the disciples out. Forget that they have to get over this fear in order to “be willing” to take him up on to the boat. Let’s look at the last portion of this verse:

…and immediately the boat was upon the land to which they were going…

Here’s the picture. The disciples are on a boat, sailing across the sea to Capernaum. Amidst the stirring of the sea (due to a strong wind), they see Jesus walking on water, and they are totally weirded out. Jesus tells them not to sweat it. This allows the disciples to bring Jesus up on board. As soon as Jesus sets foot on the boat, the boat is where they intended to go.

I could give you some sort of hokey thought on this whole deal. For example:

If you are willing to bring Jesus up on to your boat, he’ll take you wherever you need to go. Especially amidst the storms in our lives, we should allow him to be our navigator — guiding us to where we need to be. Jesus is the helmsman who can get you there. Jesus, take the wheel! Etc.

I’m not going to do that. I just want to think about the insanity of Jesus as travel agent and forerunner of Montgomery Scott.

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