Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Messianic Prophecy – Walking on the Water


Did you know that when Christ walked on the water he was fulfilling a prophecy made in one of the Psalms?
16 The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.
17 The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.
18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.
19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. (Psalms 77:16-19)
Now compare to this story in recorded in Matthew..
24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid….
32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. (Matthew 14:24-27, 32-33)
I see three things that are fulfilled from the prophecy above. 1) There was a big storm. 2) Christ’s path went through the sea. (This shows that “path” meant “walking” and not just “going by boat”.) 3) To this day nobody knows what was under his feet that held Him up. (“thy footsteps are not known”).

The Book of Matthew in the New Testment points out a number of places where Christ was fulfilling prophecy during His mortal ministry, but obviously Matthew didn't catch this one. Maybe we should look closer at the Old Testament to see if there was anything else that was missed.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking_on_water, painting “Walking on Water” by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1888.

6 comments:

Don said...

I just came across your blog today. I also checked out your Isiah Teenage Temptations site ... wow! There is a lot of good stuff on there! I look forward to reading lots more of it. Thanks for linking to me. I placed your Teenage Temptation link on my Isaiah blog and I'll begin to follow this blog as well.

Merry Christmas!

Michaela Stephens said...

Thanks for your support! I'm glad you like it!

Anonymous said...
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Michaela Stephens said...

Please do not put the same comments on my blog across multiple blog entries.

faithfinder06 said...

I don't mean to be negative but for the sake of biblical faithfulness, I just wanted to clear up this passage.

This reference to the water's interaction with God is a reminiscing of Asaph concerning the parting of the Red Sea. This is made clear by the verse preceding, "You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah." It is also further verified by the verse after, "You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron." So this is a clear reference to a past event (the Red Sea parting)and not to the future event of Jesus walking on water.

Furthermore, I believe to say that the inspired writers of the NT "missed" or "didn't catch" this one is an undermining of their Holy Spirit inspiration. 2 Timothy 3:16 states that, "All scripture is breathed out by God...that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." Everything that was supposed to be in the Bible, is in the Bible... God's inspired prophets "missed" nothing.

May God's word be upheld and may we all come to understand it better!

Michaela Stephens said...

Hi faithfinder06, you seem to have the following impressions:
--You seem to think that passages of scripture can’t have multiple fulfillments (I, on the other hand, believe they can. If the passage you object to can’t refer to Christ, then passages from David’s Psalms about how his own friend lifted up the heel against him can’t refer to Christ’s betrayal. If you allow David’s lament to be a type, you must allow Asaph’s reminiscence to be a type as well. And let’s not forget—types of Christ are a GOOD thing. We want to find as many of them as we can. So why do you begrudge me this type?)
--You seem to think that inspired writers of the Bible say all there is to say about Christ. (I, on the other hand, believe there is more that can be said, else why would we have four gospels instead of just one? Why would anyone write anything more than the Old Testament if everything had been said already? I also believe that there is more to be repeated about Christ so that the cloud of witnesses increases with every generation)
--You seem to think that I am subverting the authority of scripture by saying something was missed. If I gave the impression of putting down scripture, please know that is not what I wanted. My intent was to encourage my readers to search the scriptures more diligently in hope of making additional discoveries to show us Old Testament prophecies and types of Christ we may have overlooked simply because New Testament writers didn’t quote them.
--You seem to think that everything that is supposed to be in the Bible is there. (Actually, there is a lot of disagreement even between Christian sects about what is supposed to be in the Bible. Roman Catholics include some books that aren’t in the King James Version, Greek and Russian Orthodox churches include some other books, Syriac and Ethiopian traditions include other books.. Annnnnnd, let’s not forget that I am LDS and we believe in the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price, all of which we believe important doctrines that support and expand on what the Bible contains. So there you are.)

I understand that you were concerned that I was taking those verses out of context. Thank you for sharing your perspective. I think the association that can be made between those verses and Jesus’ miraculous ability to walk on water is still a valid one. If you have additional insights that can edify, you are free to comment.