“On Your Mark”
Don’t be Afraid (Chapter 6 Verses 45-56)
The Lord saw, by Divine revelation obviously, his disciples in distress (vv47- 48a). It surely is an encouraging, and comforting thought that the Almighty, is also the All-seeing, the Omniscient one (Psalm 33.18; Psalm 34.15). There is no distress we get into but he does not see and know and care about (1Peter 5.7). He knows the way we take, he understands human life in this world, he remembers what it is like. It is all under his gaze, and control (Psalm 34.15). You can trust him every step of the way. Did the disciples, perhaps not verbally, but inwardly wish he were there with them in the midst of this storm, as before? And had not Jesus perhaps many times told them he would never leave them. And when sending them ahead would no doubt have told them he would come to them? Well here he is (v48b), so why are they terrified (v50)? They are in great distress, and danger, surely his coming toward them spells only one thing, deliverance, rescue? What is there to be afraid of in Jesus?
Is it not true for salvation that there has to be a proper reception of Jesus (John 1.12)? Would he have passed the disciples by (v48b) had they not received him on board (v49)? So, so many things people are afraid of today, were they afraid of the darkness, was it some silly sailor’s superstition that caused them to be so terrified? Frightened of ghosts (v49)? That is not as daft as it may sound, is it? The answer surely to all our phobias is the Lord himself. Simply because he is the Lord (Philippians 2.11). The Lord of the wind and waves (Mark 4.41), the Lord of heaven and earth (Matthew 28.18), the Lord of all principalities and powers and everything else (Colossians 1.15-20). Away with your fears, and superstitions, exercise faith and courage, ‘it is I’ (v50b), the one who was their Lord and Master, whom they knew too well. You see our faith does have to be exercised, courage does have to be taken (Joshua 1.9), they do not work automatically. Faith needs something to go on, get hold of. Who Jesus is for instance, ‘it is I’. In other words the revelation of God, what he says about himself, what he has done, his ability, his promises, his purposes. The more saturated you are with his word, the more your faith will have to act and live upon, and the less fearful you will be. You will begin to recognize him in any given situation, in crises, and instead of panicking, hopefully you will learn the more and more to trust him.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)