This week's Bible Lesson on Substance includes a section from the gospel of John where Jesus walked over a stormy sea. Since this is in John's gospel, we can assume this is an eye witness account of what happened. He does not include Peter stepping out of the boat.I believe Peter did that but John's gospel is about the most spiritual ideas and perhaps he saw what Jesus was doing differently. Jesus had addressed a large crowd of believers who wanted to make him king. He refused, and sent them away, including the disciples who agreed with the crowd. He was the Messiah in their eyes and the Messiah was to lead them as a mighty warrior and king. Jesus needed time alone to pray so he sent them on ahead by boat.
So what does he decide to do? We already know from the end of the experience that he could have just transported himself to the other side. No boat needed. But instead he goes for a walk...on the water...in the midst of a great storm. The disciples see him. Now he has done some amazing things prior to this, healing the blind and the dumb and the lame, feeding a multitude from a few loaves and fishes, raising the dead to life. But those happened to other people. Here he comes, doing what no one has ever done, walking on water. They did not know how to explain this so thought he was a ghost or spirit. They might have wondered if that meant their own death was eminent. But he tells them not to be afraid and they most willingly received him onto the boat. As if the walking on the sea was not enough to astound professional fishermen, they now find themselves instantly at the land where they had so fruitlessly been trying to go. The spiritual significance is huge.
Mrs. Eddy refers to 'with God nothing shall be impossible'. What would have been the most impossible thing those fishermen might have imagined? Walking on water and instant transportation. Jesus showed that it was not impossible. What is the most impossible thing you can imagine in your own experience? Is it overcoming some huge debt, resolving some unforgivable action, finding something you thought was gone forever, healing some supposedly incurable disease? Nothing is impossible to God. God, who knows that supply is infinite, Love forgives every debt, Mind knows where everything is, God never created disease. The Christ can show you this.
The most thought provoking sentence in this section of the Lesson, to me, is this, "Divest yourself of the thought that there can be substance in matter, and the movements and transitions now possible for mortal mind will be found equally possible for the body." Wow. Things I have dreamed of doing, things I would imagine happening, healings, that I see in thought can occur right in my human experience. Mrs. Eddy would have us resolve (re-solve) things into thoughts. Whose thoughts? God, divine Minds, thoughts. Replace the objects of material sense (what I experience with the five material senses) with spiritual ideas.
Quite a bit to think about today. I don't plan to walk on water today but I believe it is would be possible if that was what I neede to do because God would arrange it. More importantly, I would gain a clearer understanding of the Christ and how it works in my life. Well worth studying.