OK, so I’ve fallen behind again. This time it’s because this particular challenge stumped me. How can a superpower, by definition, be useless? Superpowers can be constructive or destructive, in my opinion, but not useless. And then I started to think about Jesus (the original superhero).
Multiplying food (loaves and fishes) is a positive, and very useful superpower, so that doesn’t count.
Turning water into wine is a very useful, and positive superpower, in my opinion. I mean, who doesn’t prefer wine to water? (Oh, hush.)
Healing, of course, is a wonderfully positive superpower and one that is close to my heart. I hate sickness and disease, and the destruction they wreak on bodies, lives, and families.
And then I thought about walking on water…
|Don’t look at the feet. Seriously. Feet are my failure.|
24 Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. 25 At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. 26 They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror.(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)
There are lots of things to consider in this story, without even talking about Peter and his faith and stepping out of the boat and looking at the circumstances instead of looking at Jesus and…
First, the disciples were believers in the supernatural realm… they acknowledged the existence, the possibility, of ghosts. Just a thought.
Second, Jesus wasn’t into staid, traditional stuff. He stayed up all night (much like my college-age sons) and then decided it would be entertaining and/or educational to sneak up on the disciples, who had been out on the sea of Galilee all night in the midst of a storm. Jesus as a practical joker? Maybe. There’s that story about him walking through the locked door to confront Thomas, too, you know. Honestly, I can’t imagine my Jesus without a really well-entrenched sense of humor.
OK, so walking on the water requires superhuman power, right? Useless superpower? Yeah, unless you’re rescuing people or something, but Jesus wasn’t rescuing the disciples. They were straining against a storm, but they didn’t need a rescue.
It’s a matter of debate. Why DID Jesus go strolling out there in the middle of a storm in the wee hours of the morning? Just to show off? (Doesn’t fit the character of God.) Just to prove and/or test the faith of the disciples? (He was much too nice in the face of their cowardice and fear if it was a test.)
How about this one… what if He took off walking across the Sea of Galilee in the midst of a squall just because it was FUN. Like supernatural body surfing, dude. Fun? God doing something for FUN? Is it possible? I think so, even though I am the WORST at doing anything “just for fun.” In my heart, I know it’s something I have to learn to value, like rest.
So is walking on water a useless superpower? Maybe. Or maybe we need to learn the value of fun. Just a thought, peeps, just a thought.