JOHN 6:16-24 (NIV – UK)
Jesus walks on the water
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, ‘It is I; don’t be afraid.’ 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realised that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 Once the crowd realised that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.
DON’T BE AFRAID
The disciples were experiencing a terrifying ordeal – they were in a boat, on the lake, during a storm and it was dark. Sometimes life can feel like that for us all. Stormy waters, maybe we’re sinking, afraid of drowning under the pressures of this world – maybe we even feel like a great darkness has come over us.
Yet even then, when the disciples were in that terrible place, Jesus was with them. He approached them in the storm and said: ‘It is I; don’t be afraid’ (v. 20). This is how Jesus approaches us during the storms of life. He doesn’t leave us to sink, but seeks to comfort us. This is a God who is deeply concerned with our every coming and going and cares deeply for his people.
And the response of the disciples is how we must respond: ‘Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading’ (v. 21). They took Jesus into the boat – they invited him in – and their fears were instantly relieved. If we invite Jesus into our boat we will be relieved. It is only in Jesus that we find true hope, comfort and peace.
Jesus wants to sit in your boat – are you willing to take him in?
Question: Can you think of a time when you were experiencing fear or difficulties? What difference did Jesus make? Do you invite Jesus into your boat daily?