September 21, 2003


The apostles were in a boat in the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had gone to a mountain to pray. "Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with then and said to them, 'Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.' Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled." (Mark 6:47-51).

Matthew records two significant details Mark omits. Simon Peter requested of Jesus, and was given permission to walk on the water, Matt. 14:28-31. He was able to do so until his faith began to falter. Then he sank. A second detail mentioned by Matthew, even more important to us is that after seeing Jesus walk across the sea of Galilee and enter their boat, "those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, 'Truly You are the Son of God,'" (verse 33).

Jesus' acceptance of their worship proves His Deity. Godly men and angels always refused to be worshiped, Acts 10: 25-26; Revelation 19:10. But Jesus repeatedly allowed and encouraged men to worship Him. Jesus is God.

A few years ago a friend of mine overheard two ladies discussing this biblical incident. One related how she had always believed Jesus actually had walked on water until her preacher delivered a "fine" sermon informing his audience that actually, Jesus was walking near the water. She said he proved it by the Greek.

Well, I don't know her preacher nor how long he studied Greek, but I would venture a guess that he doesn't know more about it than the dozens of r scholars who translated all our standard translations. They all agree that Jesus walked on the water. Matthew said so. Mark said so. John said so.

John tells us the disciples had rowed about three or four miles from shore, John 6:19. They were in the middle of the sea when Jesus came, Matt. 14:24. I'd say the lady's preacher had some tall explaining to do. Surely Jesus' legs weren't that long!

Also, how would one explain the effects of this incident on those who were in the boat? The initial fear they experienced? What would be so frightening about someone walking on the beach near the water? And why were they so amazed that they immediately worshiped Him?

Frankly, I have little patience for "preachers" who do not believe the Bible. The Bible says Jesus walked on the water, and this preacher believes it without reservation.

--Clarence R. Johnson


[Editor's Note: This article was originally titled "Smart Move!" but this editor wanted to be sure to get your attention. Especially the attention of you young people. One more thing - the author describes Paul's admonition in 2 Tim. 2:22 as "good ancient advice." I agree. But both the author and I know that admonition is more than good advice - it is a command of God. -crj]

"Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (2 Tim.2:22). Paul reminds and warns young Timothy of the danger in youthful lusts. Not all youthful lusts are sexual, but surely sexual lusts are included -- maybe top of the list -- posing a grave danger to youth. Sexual lusts are not exclusively youth's problem; some never outgrow these problems -- they cultivate them. For all of any age who are threatened by the hormones and youthful lusts, some reminders:

You need to know: hormones have no brains. Do not expect them to think. Often glands are in control -- and disaster follows. God designed an organ between the ears to think -- not the glands. Following advice from hormones is "never, ever a smart move; it is usually just a plain "move" on some attractive person. Rational moments follow later, identified by regrets, apologies, laments - "What a dumb thing!" But the glands kick back in, the fever returns, and good sense is swallowed by hormones. And like the wine drinker: "When shall I awake? I may seek it yet again" (Prov. 23:35). Listening to hormones ruins your life -- just ask David! Hormones needlessly expose you to diseases that terrify any rational person. Hormones lead you to places that scare a thinking person to death. Hormones involve you with an old gang -- drugs, booze, violence -- no smart person goes near. But then hormones are brainless -- and people guided by them make no smart move either!

You need to know: hormones have no morals -- no principles -- no restraints. It is get naked; get degraded; get sinful. Hormones could not care less! And just how far will hormones take you? Absolutely anywhere! -- no qualification -- for sexual satisfaction.

The only concern of hormones is gratification. 

You need to know: hormones have no shame -- just appetites. Hormones compel you to do what your sense of decency could never imagine. Shame comes next morning when the hormones subside.

You need to know: hormones are selfish -- with no consideration for you or anyone else. Hormones chart a course where you harm your sexual partner, sin against your own body, disgrace your family, break your parents' heart, destroy self respect, wreck your life. "No matter!' cries hormones, "1 want!"

You need to know: hormones have no sense of timing. "Wait' is unintelligible to hormones -- not in the vocabulary. There is a proper time to satisfy those urges but not the first date -- nor second -- nor tenth -- nor any date before the wedding date. Hormones protest, "Can't wait!" Hormones know only "now" and "tonight." If getting to bed before the wedding can not be arranged, then hormones will rush the wedding -- no matter that disaster is the obvious and eventual disaster.

You need to know: hormones have no heart. Love words and endearments are mouthed, but they are just tactics -- strategy -- lies. Hormones are often confused with love (treasuring, sense of value) or even with affection (liking). Hormones are something else entirely! They rush to bed with someone they neither love nor like. It is plain lust --no heart.

You need to know: hormones are powerful. Of the forces working in our lives, few compare with hormones. Nothing much conquers them. Stir up and, toy with hormones; certain disaster follows. It is like agitating a grizzly bear -- you are sure to get clawed and chewed up! Many stoke youthful fires -- set on fire of hell -- expecting to escape unscathed. Not likely!! Managed carefully, youthful lust can be controlled. However, once stirred up and set loose, who can shut them down before the disaster?

"Flee youthful lusts" -- good ancient advice with a special modern application. Smart move!!

--Joe Fitch, Bible Comments, issue # 25


The Psalmist wrote long ago, "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Psalm 14:1). Someone has said, "If the person who says in his heart that God is non existent is a fool, what about the person who says it out loud."

The fact of the matter is that there is abundant evidence of the existence of God for any and all who are willing to examine it.

1. The existence of the material universe is evidence of a Creator. Scientists, with all their theories and disagreements in so many realms are almost universally agreed that matter (anything that has weight and takes up space) is not eternal. It had a beginning, and will have an end. Though there may be room for improvement in many of the scientific dating methods that are used to determine the age of rocks, fossils, etc., one thing that seems to be pretty well established is that at some time, they had a beginning. And only the Bible has the answer to the question of who caused them to begin. See Gen. 1:1; Heb. 11:3; Rom. 1:20; Heb. 3:4. 

2. The existence of natural law demands a giver and sustainer of that law. There are numerous universally accepted natural "laws": the law of gravity; laws of reproduction, etc. What is the force behind such laws? The Bible tells us in Gen. 1:31, 21, 24, 28; Heb. 1:1-4, etc. 

3. The existence of design in the universe is evidence of a Designer. Look at a butterfly wing under a microscope. Consider the accuracy of the measurement of time by the sun and the moon. Think of the obvious design in the leaves of the trees. Contemplate human fingerprints. The Bible tells us who was the Designer of this universe. Psa. 139:13-16; Psa. 19:1; Gen. 1:14-18, etc. 

4. The existence of life demands a life-giver. All the life that exists upon the earth had to come from some life-giving source. The Bible identifies that life-giver. Gen. 1:11, 20, 26.

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Gen. 1:1). "God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being…" (Acts 17:24-28). 

--Clarence R. Johnson



Sept. 24-28, 2003

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Clarence Johnson

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