On the story of Jesus walking on water

June 17, 2009 at 5:03 pm (Uncategorized)

Here’s what I gather from Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21 (in chronological order):

  1. This event happened immediately after the feeding of the 5000.
  2. Jesus told his disciples to get on a boat to cross a lake.
  3. The disciples’ destination was either Bethsaida (Google Map link) or Capernaum (Google Maps link), Jesus’s home.
  4. He told the 5000 people to disperse.
  5. He then climbed a mountain to pray.
  6. It was windy.
  7. This event occurred around 4:00 a.m (literally, “fourth watch”).
  8. The boat was about 3.125 miles to 3.75 miles (literally, 25-30 furlongs) from shore. (Or it traveled that far.)
  9. The disciples thought he was “an apparition.”
  10. Jesus calmed them by claiming that it was him.
  11. Peter was skeptical, asking Jesus to prove it by allowing him to walk the waters as well.
  12. Peter got out of the boat, and started walking upon the water.
  13. When Peter saw the coming storm, he lost faith and began to sink.
  14. Jesus grabbed Peter and scorned him for not having enough faith.
  15. They both boarded the boat and apparently went to the other side of the lake.

My comments on the section:

  • Since this happened around 4 o’clock in the morning, I am skeptical of whether or not Jesus actually walked on water. Walking on water is, logically and physically impossible. Since light was not yet a common tool, there’s no way of actually verifying this. They could have thought that he was walking in water, when he might have actually been wading in the water, or swimming in the water.
  • Why is Peter only recorded to have walked on water in Matthew?
  • Which is the real destination of that boat? I would bet on Bethsaida. And why does Mark have the boat going toward Bethsaida, but when reading John, he says the boat was heading back to Capernaum?
  • Also, did Jesus just not want to join the disciples, wanting instead to show off his “walking on water powers”?
  • Also, it should be noted that Jesus doesn’t walk on water when he’s being baptized.

There’s also the theory that Jesus walked on ice.
Looking it up on Google Maps, I propose that the estimated area where Jesus walked was somewhere around here. I wouldn’t doubt it if I was completely wrong about the location though.

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