So what is Jesus doing here if you put his words in context? He is alluding to the theophany on Mount Sinai. This is even admitted by scholars who don’t think Jesus claimed to be divine, but are just commenting on the Markan text.
When God reveals his name as I AM, it signifies that he is eternal. He doesn’t have a beginning or end, a past or present but just is. He is the one who simply is. As Thomas Aquinas would say later, God is Being Itself. That is what I AM (ego eimi [ἐγώ εἰμί]) reveals to us. He is not “a being,” but BEING ITSELF.
In Job 9, God is the one who removes the mountains, shakes the earth out of its place, God alone who commands the Sun and it does not rise, who seals the stars, who alone stretched out the heavens AND trampled the waves of the sea.
Then Job answered:
“Indeed I know that this is so; but how can a mortal be just before God? If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand. He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength—who has resisted him, and succeeded?—he who removes mountains, and they do not know it, when he overturns them in his anger; who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble; who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars; who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the Sea; (Job 9:1-8)
In the Greek version it says, “God alone walks on the sea as if it is dry ground."
So God, according to Job, ALONE walks on the sea in the Old Testament and in verse 11 Job says "Look, he passes me by, and I do not see him; he moves on, but I do not perceive him.”
What does Mark say about Jesus?
He intended to pass them by.
That is the language of theophany. When God revealed his identity to Moses, what did he do? He passes by. When he revealed his identity to Elijah what did he do? He passes by. When he revealed his identity to Job, what did he do? He passes by AND he tramples on the waves of the sea.
What a coincidence! That Jesus does what ONLY God does in the Old Testament at the same time as he takes God’s name I AM.
Well, maybe a coincidence and maybe not. Maybe what this is another theophany. Maybe the reason there is all this language of theophany in Mark is because it is a theophany – God revealing himself.