An Evangelical Church in the Heart of Thatcham

Not what I would have written

Reading the Bible, even for seasoned readers like me, has its challenges and I want to share a simple tip with you which I can truthfully say has paid some handsome dividends. It is a very simple “trick”, if you will, and all you have to do is get used to asking the question: “Is that what I would have written?” So let me now give you a worked example from Mark’s gospel, the account of Jesus walking on the water. We’ll pick up the story when the disciples catch sight of Jesus:

“Immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed…” Mark 8 verses 50-51

What we read is pretty reasonable, pretty much what I might have written were I passing on the account. But wait a minute, what is it that immediately follows?

“…for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.” Verse 52

This, I absolutely would not have written. That they should be amazed at seeing Jesus walk on water is, to my thinking, absolutely to be expected. However, Scripture points out that Jesus is in fact amazed that they are amazed. The disciples have completely failed to process the significance of his previous miraculous sign of feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fish.

If Jesus truly has power over the natural laws to create bread at will, why would this creator suddenly have difficulty with some other aspect of the material creation so as to suspend its normal mode of operation. Jesus really is the creator God and has all power.

I am the Pastor at Thatcham Evangelical Church in West Berkshire. This is an FIEC (Fellowship of Evangelical Churches) affiliated church.