Jesus Calms Their Fears

In the evening following the feeding of the 5000, the disciples got into a boat and left Jesus behind while they began to row toward Capernaum (vv 16-17). As it became dark a strong wind was blowing them off course (v. 18). Suddenly to their amazement, they saw Jesus not far from the boat, walking on the water and they became frightened (v. 19). Jesus immediately answers the disciples fear with these words, “It is I, Be not afraid” (v. 20). Matthew tells us that this was the time when Peter calls out to Him, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water,” (Matt 14:28).

The disciples fear was immediately relieved when they realized it was indeed Jesus who was walking on the water, and He was in control of all events, so they willingly received Him into the boat (v. 21). Then we see another demonstration of the power of Jesus, for instantly they arrived at the dock in Capernaum.  It seems this is a miracle intended only for those who believe, unlike the feeding of the 5000 which was intended for anybody who happened to be there. This teaches us that the resources are available to quiet the agony of uncertainty and anxiety that often grips our hearts in time of trouble. As we stand at the brink of each new day we can be sure that some of us are going to face some very frightening circumstances of disease, accident, death etc.  We may find ourselves in a sea of trouble like these disciples. But what Jesus is saying to the disciples He is saying to us as well. He then tells them they are following Him for physical reasons rather than spiritual (vv. 22-29).


These accounts are here in the Scriptures to teach me the hidden resource of life, the place to run to when things get to be overwhelming and I find myself pressured. This is not something to be reserved for just the great trials of life. It is available for any time of pressure, or an degree of it.

John 6:15-27 (English Standard Version)

Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal."

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