Pass by Them: (Mark 6:49 & Exodus 33:12-23) — A Long Conversation with God.

It’s funny how looking at the scriptures can lead to a conversation with God. In my case a long conversation with God about some of my “whys.” I started with reading Mark 6:45 thru chapter 7 (New International Version). Then I went to Holman New Testament Commentary – Mark to see what someone else thought. I didn’t get far before I realize God was talking to me. Here’s what’s in the commentary that got my attention:

“6:49. The phrase pass by them does not mean that Jesus was going to pass by and ignore his disciples in the boat. The phrase is also used in the Old Testament when God “passed by” Moses, revealing himself to him. Jesus’ appearance would serve as a reassurance to the disciples. He had sent them out on the water; he would see them through their troubles” (Cooper, 2000).

I found where God passed by Moses in Exodus 33:12-23. Moses is having a conversation with God in these verses. Some of the things that stuck out to me are Moses is being bold with God about his thoughts.

  • You found favor with me. If you are pleased with me then teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you (v. 12-13) … I want God to find favor with me and I want to know God and his ways.
  • If you aren’t going with us, then we don’t want to leave (v. 15) … I want you Father, go with me.
  • Here’s the verse that really got me where I believe Moses is very gutsy with God but not disrespectful. “Now show me your glory” (v. 18). I think we forget God likes it when we go to him like this.

In verses 19 & 21 it talks about God passing by Moses. My conversation turns to Romans 9:15 and the surrounding texts about how God will decide who he wants to give mercy and compassion too (Ex.33:19). Then back to Exodus (34:33-35), Moses veils his face because it radiated from being with God, and the Israelites were afraid to come near him this led me to 2 Cor. 3:7-18.  There is no veil for those in the new covenant. My dialog continues with God in 1 Kings 19 where God is in a conversation with Elijah and passes by him in verse 11. God shows his glory to Elijah and gives comfort, strength, and courage to him in a gentle whisper.

Needless to say, God gave me a lot to think about, but he also gave me some correcting and answers (2 Timothy 3:16-17). They are not the answers I wanted but what I needed. Here is one of the answers: God’s not going to pass by me in my troubles. He “pass by” me and gave me comfort, strength, and courage.  Sooner or later He will show his glory and give mercy and compassion to who he wants.

Cooper, R. (2002). Mark. In Holman New Testament Commentary. Retrieved from

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