If you go to an optometrist, it’s to help you see better. The disciples in our passage, had trouble seeing. They had trouble recognizing Jesus. When they saw him in the waters, they thought he was a ghost. Did they need to see an optometrist? Well, no. That wasn’t their problem. It wasn’t their physical sight at the end of the day that kept them from recognizing Jesus. Because at the end of the passage, they will physically see that it is Jesus. He will call out to them, and then even get into the boat with them. But even when that happens, and they see with their eyes that it is indeed Jesus, they seem to still have trouble truly recognizing him. They saw him with their eyes, but they didn’t understand him with their hearts. That’s what verse 52 tells us. Their hearts were hardened. So if they didn’t need an optometrist, does this mean that they needed a cardiologist? No, their problem with recognizing Jesus was not something that any earthly doctor could solve. They did need their hearts to be worked on, but that was something only Jesus, the Great Physician could do. Not with craft of human hands, of course, but by the working of his spirit inside them. And this is the same sort of heart surgery that each of us needs.
Passage: Mark 6:45-56
Author: Rev. W. Reid Hankins, M.Div.
Sermon originally preached during the Morning Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 06/22/2008 in Novato, CA.