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Walking on Water

What was Jesus’ greatest miracles?

Following on from the life of Jesus in the previous article, the fifth miraculous sign came later that day. It has provided fodder for comedians and has been scoffed at by liberals and skeptics, but the fact remains that Jesus actually walked three and a half miles across the choppy waters of the Sea of Galilee. He wasn’t drifting on ice, as a Professor from Florida has suggested, neither did he wear invisible skis pulled along by an invisible motorboat. The fact that the phrase “walking on water” has entered our vocabulary to signify an impossible task just shows it for what it was – an impossible task. But not for the Messiah and, in Matthew’s account, the disciple Simon Peter, once he had cleared his lungs of the water he had almost drowned in after his attempt at water walking, blurted out, “Truly you are the Son of God”.

The sixth miraculous sign, the healing of the man born blind, has already been covered. The final one was probably the most dramatic of all. Although there have been accounts, even at the time of Jesus, of the dead being restored to life, there was none like the raising of Lazarus. Jesus could have restored his life at any time, but he chose to wait and wait until the last possible moment, the fourth day, the point at which, according to Jewish tradition, the soul finally leaves the vicinity of the body and drifts away. Jesus didn’t just want to do the improbable but, like walking on water, the impossible. Even the religious authorities acknowledged that this was a miraculous sign and this particular miracle was the beginning of the end of Jesus’ life and ministry on earth.

But they still didn’t get it!

The Jews who had witnessed Jesus, saw the miracles, heard his proclamations, still didn’t really get it until afterwards. This is why, after his resurrection, Jesus had to explain the whole thing to the men on the way to Emmaus.

“He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! ... And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24:25, 27).

And to the rest of the disciples later that day.

“He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:44-45)

If the disciples, who had lived with him and witnessed the events of his remarkable life, needed such an explanation, you can be sure that there was a general ignorance by all of his mission during his lifetime. It was as if the director of a particularly confusing movie had to appear on screen at the end to explain the plot to a mystified audience.

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Miraculous signs

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