By Luke Lancaster
Many Jehovah's Witnesses evangelize in the public square. However, they miss the all-important detail from the New Testament about the identity of Jesus. There are various passages to examine, but this article will examine the Gospel according to Mark. In it, the author hints at the identity of Jesus by bringing to remembrance various texts from the Old Testament. God was associated by the Jews with actions such as calming storms and walking on water. When Jesus does these events, a lightbulb would go on for the Hebrew Scripture-scholar. For He did them not by petitioning God as the holy men and women of old. Rather, He did them on His own power, that being a Divine Power. The first text to consider is Psalms 107.
"Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep. For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits' end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven."
God commands the storm to cease. Now notice below when event spoken about in the Psalms occurred in the 1st century.
"On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
God commanded the storm to cease, and Jesus commanded the storm to cease. Jesus does not pray to God the Father for the storm to cease. He simply possessed this Divine attribute. The holy Jewish man named Moses accomplished a similar miracle. He divided the Red Sea. However, he was totally dependent on God, following exactly each step He told him to do. Jesus, on the other-hand, simply possessed this Divine quality of power. See another passage like this in Job 9.
"[God is the one] who alone stretched out the heavens
and trampled the waves of the sea..."
In the Greek text, it literally says that God walked on the sea as though on dry ground. Now notice what Jesus does.
"Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
Only God walked on water according to the Old Testament. What Job spoke about, though, actually occurred in the man named Jesus. This would seem to indicate that Jesus is the Divine One walking on the water.
There are many, many more passages to be considered in Mark's Gospel, but suffice it to say, Jesus embodied the actions of God. He did not request help from Divinity, but simply acted by Himself. This is why Catholics are convinced that Jesus was and is God incarnate.