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Mark 6:48

ESV And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them,
NIV He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them,
NASB Seeing them straining at the oars—for the wind was against them—at about the fourth watch of the night, He *came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them.
CSB He saw them straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Very early in the morning he came toward them walking on the sea and wanted to pass by them.
NLT He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them,
KJV And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

What does Mark 6:48 mean?

The evening that Jesus feeds the five thousand, He sends the Twelve ahead of Him to Capernaum while He goes to the mountains to pray. From this high vantage point, He can see the struggling boat four or five miles off. Although Luke mentions that they "sailed" to the Decapolis (Luke 8:23, 26), this may be a euphemism. There's no explicit indication this boat had a sail with which to tack against the wind. Or, the wind may be too strong for the fabric.

The fourth watch is between three and six a.m. The Twelve had met up after their missions trip, rowed the boat the six miles from Capernaum to Bethsaida, spent the day watching Jesus heal people and listening to Him preach, passed out food in the afternoon, then returned to the boat to row it back to Capernaum. Now, they have been rowing for hours with little to show for it.

It's unclear why Jesus intends to pass them by. It could be that this is the Twelve's perception, not Jesus' intention. Or that Jesus plans to walk close enough for them to call out to Him. Some scholars believe that He means to emulate His pre-incarnate experiences with Moses (Exodus 33:19–23) and Elijah (1 Kings 19:11–12). Seeing the glory and power and dominion of Jesus should encourage the Twelve. Instead, it terrifies them and they mistake Him for a ghost (Mark 6:49).

God gave His prophets the ability to perform miracles in order to prove that their message was from Him. Common examples are healing, exorcising demons, and raising the dead. But there are a few miracles the Bible records only God being able to do. This includes walking on water (Job 9:8; Isaiah 43:16; 51:10; Habakkuk 3:15) and giving sight to the blind (Isaiah 42:5–7; Luke 4:16–19; Mark 8:22–26; 10:46–52).
What is the Gospel?
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