Fears! It was a frightening storm at sea for the disciples. What a time to be without Jesus there to calm them.
16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, 17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
Though it is true that our conversion to Christ changes us, I do not know too many people who have had as dramatic a conversion as the disciples of Jesus. Most of them were just fisherman, who were grappling with who Jesus really was. Of course, they believed He was the Son of God, but what did that mean? Our Bible passage today from John 6, is a perfect example.
While Jesus had gone off to be alone with His Father, the disciples entered a ship going to Capernaum. By the time it was dark, Jesus still had not come. By now enormous gales of wind tossed the ship on the raging waves of the sea. Thinking they were surely going to perish, their fears almost overcame them, when they saw a man walking toward them on the water. Surely their eyes were playing tricks on them.
When they discovered that it was Jesus, and welcomed Him aboard, the sea immediately became calm. As a matter of fact, they immediately found themselves at Capernaum according to John 6:21.
It is not hard to apply this to our lives; think of the many times we are afraid. When the disciples discovered that the man walking on water was Jesus were calmed. Ideally, when we become Christians, our fears should subside as well, but it is not that easy, is it?
It often takes a lifetime of growth in the Lord until we reach the point that we can set aside our fears. In fact, most often we never do reach that point in this life. Why is that? The Bible is clear, when Jesus claims our souls we are in the His arms forever. Why can that not be enough to keep our faith strong in the Lord?
Unfortunately, we do not live in a bubble of righteous serenity, and, even if there was such a thing, our own sin would destroy that bubble as soon as we entered it. Often times, grief over our own sins and our constant wrestling with them, are some of the hardest things in life to bear.
Yet, this same Jesus who calmed the fears of the disciples, is available to encourage us and calm us as well. Even in our boats of life, we never drift so far away, that the Lord cannot walk on the water and come to our aid. How amazing is that?
Oh, how I love Jesus, because He first loved me!