From Fear to Faith
Living God, it is another day of many voices. I seek to close my ears, my mind, to anyone or anything but You.
Read John 6:16-24
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Christ has promised to be with us always. His presence is guaranteed, even when we lose sight of him in the pressures of life. There is no need for fear.
Jesus’ hide-and-seek with the crowds continued as they went back and forth across the lake, but this time the focus is on the disciples. As they set out without Jesus, John gives us a view from the boat before Jesus joins them. They are more than half way across, it is dark, the wind is strong and the waters rough. The storm was scary enough, but then they see a figure walking on the water that they fail to recognize, and are “frightened” (19).
There is no hint that they had been disobedient to go off on their own. Their departure had provided some cover for Jesus to slip away from the crowd that wanted him as king (15,22). He had probably indicated that he would join them later (17). Their fear subsided as soon as they recognized him. The problem was resolved immediately and they completed their journey. There will have been little time for the disciples to review this incident because the crowd was close behind, but it must have remained strong in their memories for the rest of their lives. They would always remember his words, “It is I; don’t be afraid” (20).
The one thing that changed everything was the presence of Jesus. Despite their remaining fears (he was walking on water!), and after an initial hesitation, they were willing to take him into the boat. The text emphasizes their willingness (21); it never actually says whether he came aboard or not. The key to resolving their distress was not his presence alone. His presence required a response of faith. Then, as today, the foundation of our discipleship is the certainty of Jesus’ presence, however scary or distressing our circumstances. Like the disciples, we have a choice: battle alone or invite him in.
Apparently the disciple’s fears subsided when they recognized Jesus. What comfort can you find in this passage?
Lord Jesus, I claim Your promise when You said You would never leave me. I need this assurance as I ride out the storms in my life.
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