A bit of fun in preparing next Sunday’s sermon. With the passage being the invitation by Jesus to Peter to walk on water I looked at what it could possible mean and come to the conclusion that we believe in a Jam Jar – or should that be Yamm-Yah?
Not a lot of people know this (myself included) but Luke and Johjn in their telling of the story use the same Greek word for water as the Greek word for sea in Job who recognises God as the one who “alone stretched out the heavens and
treads on the waters of the Sea” (Job 9:8)
That word is Yam. God is Yah. So we have Yam Yah – God is a Jam Jar. Discuss.
Great video clip here of Jesus walking on water.
Job wasn’t the first to see God walking on water. In the beginning – “the earth was barren with no form of life. It was under a roaring ocean covered with darkness. But the Spirit of God was moving over the water.” (Genesis 1:2)
And then we have the gospel story of Jesus walking on water – and, in only Matthew’s gospel, Peter walking on water proving the point that rocks do float.
Is it just a stunt? Look at me – I can walk on water!
There has to be more to it than that – and the answer to that is in the Yam.
Apparently the Hebrews didn’t believe in sea monsters, but used the image of a sea monster to symbolise evil – referred to as Leviathan. The Canaanites – early settlers of the Promised Land – had a god called Yam – deity of the primordial chaos and representing the power of the sea untamed and raging.
I wonder whether people attributed the storms of the lakes and seas to Yam – evil or whatever name evil goes by. Walking on water then becomes not some super stunt, but a sign of Jesus’s power over the force of evil. When he invites Peter to walk on water he is inviting him to trust that the Spirit of God within him has power over evil.
We translate storms and turbulence psychologically. We know when we are upset, when we are overwhelmed – and when we feel we are drowning. We say we feel “all at sea” – but then we have Jesus who knows that we can walk on water – our Yam-Yah God.
Is that why Jesus washed his disciples’ feet – because they would walk on the water. When he washes the feet of the disciples, is it to admire them. Paul writes: “how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:5-15) Does Jesus admire the feet of those who by walking on water so declare the good news about the power of love?