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 realized 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 realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus. 
What strikes me in this passage is Jesus’ call to his disciples not to be afraid. Throughout the scriptures, these are common words of comfort usually coming from angels when they appear to people.
In this case it wasn’t the sudden appearance of an angel that caused fear, but the unusual appearance of Jesus. The last thing the disciples probably expected as they labored their way across the lake, made difficult by waves, was the sight of a person calmly walking toward them. Jesus identifies himself, calls them to be unafraid, and accompanies them to their destination.
What struck me was the power of the awareness of Jesus’ presence. Note that there is no mention of Jesus calming the rough sea. Instead, He calls them to put aside their fear, simply by knowing that it is He who is coming to them, and that He will be with them.
It’s a very simple image, but one that is important to take to heart time and again. We need not fear when Jesus is with us. He had just shown in the feeding of the 5000 that the abundance of the New Creation is in him, so there need be no fear of a lack of daily bread. And now He shows that the dangers of the fallen creation have no power over Him. We need have no fear that the fallenness of this world will have the last world, because the perfection of the New Creation is in Him. It’s not that He will always remove the things that cause fear, but rather that His presence strengthens and comforts by lifting our eyes to the certain hope that we have in Him.
Lord Jesus, remind me today of your constant presence as I go about my life. Let Your presence and promises dispel all fears and instead work peace and hope that is founded in You.
What is the Word leading you to pray about today?
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