Mark 6:51, Escalating Worship

And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

//Mark was the first Gospel written, about 70 CE. Then came Matthew, Luke, and John, probably in that order. When the Gospels are ordered chronologically, it’s much easier to see the evolution of the Gospel story as it grows.

For one thing, his followers are portrayed as more and more worshipful. In Mark, the Twelve are presented as a bit dull, slow to understand, who perhaps never do grasp Jesus’s magnificence.

Today’s verse is an example. Jesus walks on the water, and they’re amazed, unable to grasp what they just saw. The next verse explains that they hardened their hearts, presumably so as not to believe, when Jesus performed the miracle of loaves and fishes.

But now read the same story in Matthew’s Gospel. Suddenly, Peter becomes a quick believer, and asks Jesus to invite him out on the water as well. So Peter walks on water too. Then comes this verse:

And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. –Matthew 14:32-33

Wow! Never in Mark’s Gospel do the Twelve realize Jesus is the Son of God! Evil spirits do, the Centurion does, but not his disciples. Matthew has completely rewritten an important theme of Mark’s Gospel: that of Jesus’s slow-to-understand followers.

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