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And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea ; and the LORD caused the sea to
go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the
waters were divided.— Exod. xiv. 21. And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry
ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground,
until all the people were passed over Jordan.—Josh. iii. 17. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. --John v. 17.
AND straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves : for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the
And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit: and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I: be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid ; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me! And immediately Jesus stretched forth
THE MIRACLES OF CHRIST. his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.-Matt. xiv. 22-33. See Mark vi. 46-52; John vi. 16-21.
And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship : and there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the winds, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? — Mark iv. 35-41. See Matt. viii. 23-27.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE SACRED NARRATIVE. Christ dismissed the multitude, after he had fed them miraculously, lest they should “take him by force and make him a king" — (John vi. 15); but himself retired for prayer. Though Christ, as God, was Lord of all, and was prayed to, yet Christ, as man, had “ the form of a servant,” and prayed. Christ has herein set before us an example of secret prayer, and the performance of it secretly. Observe, when the disciples went to sea, their Master went to prayer; when Peter was to be “ sifted as wheat," Christ prayed for him. · Christ went unto them, walking on the sea.” This is a great instance of Christ's sovereign dominion over all the creatures; they are all under his feet, and at his command; they forget their natures, and change their qualities that we call essential. We need not inquire how this was done,
whether by condensing the surface of the water, (when God pleases, “the depths are congealed in the heart of the sea,”—Exod. xv. 8.) or by expanding the gravitation of his body, which was transfigured as he pleased, - it is sufficient that it proves his divine power, for it is God's prerogative to “ tread upon the waves of the sea,” (Job ix. 8.) as it is to “ ride upon the
wings of the wind.” He that “made the waters of the sea a wall for the redeemed of the LORD,” (Isai. li. 10.) here makes them a walk for the Redeemer himself, who, as Lord of all, appears with one foot on the sea and the other on dry land.—Rev. x. 2. The same power that made iron to swim, (2 Kings vi. 6) did this. « What ailed thee, O thou sea ?"--(Psal. cxiv. 5:)—it “was the presence of the Lord. Thy way, O God, is in the sea !"_lxxvii. 19.
Rev. MATTHEW HENRY.
The fourth watch of the night began three hours before sunrise ; and, during these three hours, Jesus came to the disciples, — perhaps after daybreak. Note, that to walk on the sea is made the property of God, “ who alone spreadeth the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.” — Job ix. 8.— Whitby. « The picture of two feet walking on the sea, was an Egyptian hieroglyphic for an impossible thing." — Doddridge. It was, no doubt, an attestation that he was the God of Nature, the Lord of the creation; and also an emblem of his power over all the troubles and persecutions which disquiet his church.
Rev. Thomas Scott.
The waves rose, but he trod them down; the raging sea murmured under the footsteps of its Lord; but, willing, or unwilling, it must bear him. Thus, when the swelling powers of this world rise, our Lord shall trample them down. But when he says, “ I am He, not a phantom, as you suppose, but really what you see;" Peter says, “ Lord, if it is thou, order me to come to thee upon the waters.” If it is thou, I do not wonder that thou suspendest solid flesh upon the backs of the liquid waves ; for, what wonder if the creature waits upon its Creator ? Therefore I should not wonder, should I do that at which I may wonder. I know, Lord, that a human body is not suffered, by the laws of Nature, to have fixed footsteps upon the liquid waves; but let thy gift of grace be afforded, and that law of Nature shall cease for awhile. Thou hast chosen to take of me, infirmity, in that flesh which thou bearest; grant that I may have from thee power that the waves shall bear me!
“ They were troubled, saying, It is a spirit.” The Jews, especially the sect of the Pharisees, had a notion, from whom the disciples might have theirs,— of spirits, apparitions, and demons, being to be seen in the night ; hence that rule, “ It is forbidden a man to salute his friend in the night, for we are careful, lest it should be a demon.” They say many things of one “ Lilith,” a she-demon, that used to appear in the night, with a human face, and carry off young children, and kill them. Some such frightful notions had possessed the minds of the disciples, “and they cried out for fear,” — as persons in consternation, in the greatest danger, through a vulgar notion among seafaring-men, that such sights are ominous to sailors.
“ But straightway Jesus spake unto them,” as one truly affected towards them, and concerned for their welfare: he called aloud unto them, saying, 66 Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid;" don't be affrighted at my