But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased.(Mark 6:49-51)
Jesus told the disciples it was time to move on. He felt like they had done enough in one area and that other towns needed to hear His message. He dismissed the disciples, told them to meet Him on the other side of the sea, and then went to a mountain to pray.
The disciples began to row the boat. It’s dark. A storm came up. They’re tired. Jesus somehow saw their struggles, stopped praying, and went towards them. When they saw a figure walking on the water, they became terrified. They didn’t know it was Jesus; instead, they thought this apparition was a ghost.
This story elicits many questions. Why didn’t Jesus travel with them? Why didn’t they recognize Jesus? How could Jesus have walked on the water?
I don’t know the answers to these questions. What I do know, however, is that we all experience what they disciples were going through in that storm on that night.
Some of you might be there right now. It’s dark. The rowing is hard. Adverse winds are blowing. The waves are swirling. You’re afraid you’re going down. We’ve all been there.
What I also know is that when we cry out to Jesus, He will come. Just as He said to those disciples, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid,” so He now says the same powerful words to us.
In whatever boat, dark night, or daunting conditions we might be facing, I encourage us to trust that Jesus can find us no matter how dark the night, or how fierce the conditions.
When Jesus got into that boat, the wind ceased. With Jesus, they traveled to a safe harbor.
With Jesus at our side, I wouldn’t say that all the winds will immediately drop, but I can say that with His hand at the tiller we can trust He will guide us to safety and peace.
- How do you identify with the disciples who were in the boat on that dark night, with winds blowing and the sea swirling?
- During your own harrowing times, how did you feel the presence and peace of Jesus coming to you?
- Where and how in your life do you need to hear Jesus say, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid?”
MyBarnabas invites you to watch this lyric video below of Lauren Daigle’s song “Lookup Child” :