Read John 6
There was a big crowd that had been fed until they were satisfied. Jesus had gone up the mountain. The disciples went to their boat as the evening fell upon them and headed for the other side.
We will presume that is what Jesus told the to do. We don’t think that they just forgot him. They were about 3 miles from shore in rough water and with much wind, and they saw Jesus walking towards them on the water.
They had just witnessed the miracle of feeding the 5000, but Jesus walking on top of the water put a lump in their throats.
OK, there’s defying physical laws by feeding 5000 people with next to nothing and everyone being filled, and then there is walking on top of the water.
The scripture didn’t say that the disciples were amazed, though surely, they were. The text does not read that they couldn’t believe their eyes, for they surely did. It reads, they were terrified.
So Jesus told them not to be afraid. He said, “It’s me.”
In Greek, that would be Egō eimi. Jesus literally said, I Am. God speaking to Moses would have said hawyah (הָיָה) but Jesus said Egō eimi.
In any case, when God speaks the words, I Am, big things happen. Jesus stepped into the boat and the next thing they knew, they were ashore at their destination.
The huge multitude realized that Jesus and his disciples had gone across the water and went in search of them.
There is no Peter walking on water here. Jesus does not still the storm. He simply walks on water, tells the disciples not to be afraid, identifies himself with the words I Am, and then it’s on to the next stop in short order.
Back-to-back bigtime miracles indeed, but some who were amazed would fall away soon enough.
Let’s jump 2000 years into the future, also known as present day America. Must we analyze what Jesus tells us to do? Must we be terrified when we see Jesus heading our way?
What if the disciples had decided that feeding that multitude took it all out of Jesus, we had better wait for him here on the shore?
What if the disciples were afraid to take Jesus into the boat?
The disciples had no idea what came next, yet they followed Jesus and obeyed him. It’s more trust and obey.
Today, it’s more count and measure. Let’s make an estimate. Let’s see who is interested. Let’s not stick our necks out too far. Let’s be cautious with our faith.
When Jesus is walking on water headed to the boat in which you are already braving the wind and rough seas, and quite frankly you are already terrified—when he is headed towards your boat—bring him aboard.
We pray for his help all the time. Let’s not overthink it when he gets here, even if we are terrified.
Let’s not give our own understanding permission to doubt what Jesus is doing or is about to do. If he is walking on water or has risen from the dead to rescue you, stop being terrified and be overwhelmed by his presence instead.
Instead of being terrified over Jesus overcoming the world, let’s enjoy the ride. Who better than Jesus would you want to see in the middle of your storm?
When Jesus is headed out way, bring him into the boat!