Sunday, April 3, 2016

"Jesus Walks on Water - Their Hearts Were Hardened"

“Jesus Walked on Water…But Their Hearts Were Hardened”
Russell H. McCullough / Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 / - Date: 3 April 2016

“From Ulster Plantation to the Carolina’s with the Gospel” *

Text: Mark 6.45 - 52

Thesis: It is far more terrifying to have a hard heart than it is to drown at sea in a storm!

1          Introduction – Weather Terror on the Sea of Galilee

A.   According to research done by John McArthur and from Wikepedia:
·       At 682 ft. BELOW sea level, the Sea of Galilee is the lowest fresh water lake in the world.
·       It is a maximum of 150 ft. deep, is 13 miles long, 8 miles wide and has a circumference of 33 miles.
·       The depth drops most gradually south to north while it drops most radically east to west.
·       The Sea of Galilee is a 3 level monomictic lake.  The top strata is the highest temperature with the lowest strata the coldest.  In the summer, the strata mix to a more uniform temperature and re stratify in winter.
·       In OT times it was known as Lake Gennesaret.  In the NT times it was known as the Sea of Galilee by the Jews and the Lake of Tiberius by the Romans.  Today it is known by most people as Lake Kinneret.
·       The Sea of Galilee if fed from underground springs but mainly from melting snows from 9,200 ft. high Mt. Herman via the Jordan  River.
·       Because of the lakes unique stratification, the algae content is perfect for a food source for fish.  The record comes from a 1896 singular boat catch of 9,200 lbs. of fish!  
·       The bowl effect of the lake is created by mountains mainly on the east, north and west sides of the lake.  From the North and Northwest, they typically rise 1,500 ft. over water level and 3,100 ft. over water level the North and Northeast.
·       Even today, the Sea of Galilee provides 50% of all water in Israel.
·       The Sirocco summer winds are very predictable.  The average wind speed in the month of July is 29.9 mile per hour.  These winds typically blow between noon and six daily during the summer months.
·       The winter winds are far more chaotic, violent and unpredictable.  These result from colder air falling off the mountains and colliding with the much warmer water surface temperatures.  The city of Tiberius once had waves so high that hit the city, that they invaded the city some 200 yards from its shore.
·       Few environments could illustrate the Lord’s power over nature than His conquest of the Sea of Galilee!
·       There are other parts of this occurrence that are not recorded in Marks gospel. 
1)     Mark is all about ACITON, appealing to a Roman audience.
2)    Matthew is all about the KINGDOM OF GOD, appealing to a Jewish audience.  (Chpt. 14)
a.    The boat was beaten by the waves
b.    Peter’s attempt to walk on the water
c.     The wind ceased when Jesus climbed in
d.    They worshipped Him as the Son of God
3)   John is about THEOLOGY, specifically about the Divinity of Christ.  (Chpt. 6)
a.    WHY Christ ordered them into the boat
b.    They were at a distance of 3 – 4 miles
c.     The miraculous arrival…IMMEDIATE!

2        6.45 – Terror from Inside

A. The terror of the unknown order
B. The terror of separation
C. The terror of neglected prayer

3        6.46 – 50a – Terror from Outside

A. The terror of the night
B. The terror of the open sea
C. The terror of the imagination
D. The terror of the Spoken Word

4        6.50b - 52 – Terror Yet to Come

A. The terror of Jesus’ subjecting the winds and the waves
B. The terror of their ignorance of the loaves and the fishes

5        The Meaning of the Text

A.  The terror of being out of control of one’s circumstances
B. The terror of ignorance of God’s Word
C.  The TERROR of NOT being TERRIFIED because of the HARDNESS OF HEART!

6        The Challenge of the Text

A.  We must surrender our circumstances to God
B. We must no longer remain ignorant of His Word
C. We must NOT harden our hearts towards Him as they did in the rebellion or else…WE WILL BE TERRIFIED FOR ALL ETERNITY!

7         “The Gospel Call”

·         Surrender your boat to Jesus
·         Trade your terror for His peace
·         Give Him your broken and contrite heart by obedience to the gospel
·         Die to the love and practice of sin
·         Repent of all your past sins
·         Confess His Name before men
·         Be immersed into His burial and rise to walk a new life…one FREE FROM TERROR!

·         My fifth great uncle was Hugh Gaston who was rector at the Ballywillan Presbyterian Church (pictured above left) in County Antrim, Ulster Plantation (Northern Ireland) and wrote the most dangerous book of his time; Gaston’s Collections.  It allowed “the ploughman to know more Bible than his clergyman.”  Hugh fled to South Carolina where he died prematurely of the measles.  He is buried just one hour south of Charlotte in Chester County, S.C. in “Burnt Meeting House Cemetery.”   Uncle Hugh continues to inspire my ministry to this very day.  You can read more about Uncle Hugh here:
Ruins photo courtesy of:

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