December 17th, 2016| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


Robots can do it now—walk on water.

So reported scientists from Seoul National University and Harvard, in “Jumping on Water: Surface Tension–Dominated Jumping of Water Striders and Robotic Insects,” published in Science. They created this ultralight leaping gadget/robot that mimics the way pond-skimming insects negotiate water.

Jumping robots have been around for a while. The new thing here was to learn how to make the robot jump off the surface of water. But water-striders and other such critters have figured out how to do so.

With high-speed cameras, researchers studied the movements of these water-walkers. Apparently, the force exerted by a leaping water-strider’s legs on water is just a tad lower than the surface tension of water. Precisely enough to permit the beast to launch itself without sinking.

So there you have it: a tiny robot that can take off on the water’s surface. Of course, the smallness and lightness of the thing doesn’t provide any real-life applications now, but who knows what may be developed down the line!

Jesus did this a long time ago: he walked on water without breaking its surface tension or whatever.

As reported in Mark 6:45–52, the story is strikingly similar in description to that of God’s overthrow of the Egyptian army (Exodus 14). In fact, the only Greek words in the Mark narrative not found in the Greek version of Exodus 14 are “for,” “immediately,” and “not.”

Clearly this incident was intended by Mark to indicate a “theophany,” an appearance of God, even down to Jesus’ use of “It is I” in 6:50.

“Be courageous, it is I; do not fear.”
Mark 6:50

Unfortunately, this ephiphanic nature the encounter in Mark was completely lost on the disciples—their reaction is sheer terror, the opposite of what Jesus exhorted them to be: courageous. Instead, they think he is a phantasm, a ghost.

But when they saw Him on the sea walking,
they though that it was a ghost, and they cried out.
Mark 6:49

And this right after they had witnesses a feeding miracle being performed by Jesus (6:32–44). In fact, the connection between that feeding miracle and this one of walking on water link these events even more firmly with the wonders of the Exodus period—the provision of manna and the crossing of the sea. The disciples, just having observed Jesus reenact the former, should have been prepared for the latter. But their ears and eyes, seemingly, were still closed. Worse yet, their hearts, Mark informs us, had been hardened.

For they did not understand about the bread, but their heart had been hardened.
Mark 6:52

And that’s not all: a pungent note of disparagement of the disciples is heard as the story concludes. Jesus gets on to the boat, calms the stormy seas, and the entire party crosses the Sea of Galilee safely.

And when they came out of the boat, immediately recognizing Him,
they [the locals] ran about that whole country
and began to carry about on pallets those who were ill, to where they heard He was.
And wherever He entered into villages or into cities or into the countrysides,
they were laying the sick in the marketplaces,
and imploring Him that they may just touch the edge of His garment;
and as many as touched it were being healed.
Mark 6:54–56

Did you catch that? The crowd “immediately recognized Him!”

Ha! The disciples thought Jesus was a ghost. The locals recognize Jesus on the spot. What irony! The ones closest to Jesus fail the test. Those on the periphery pass.

Which group will we be part of?

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