John 6:16-21 (NIV): When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 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. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
The disciples had seen Jesus do some amazing things: heal the sick, restore sight to the blind and strength to the lame, cast out demons, turn water to wine, and even calm a raging storm. But they had never seen anything like Him walking to them on the storm-tossed waters of the Sea of Galilee!
It was getting dark, but Jesus hadn’t come down from the mountain. Instead, He had told them to start for Capernaum without Him (Matthew 14:22). But the wind was against them, which meant long hours of rowing against strong waves.
They had only put 3 or 4 miles behind them when they saw a figure walking toward them on the water’s surface. Their first thought was that it was a ghost, and they all screamed in terror (Matthew 14:26). But above the sound of the wind and the waves, they clearly heard the voice of Jesus call to them, “I am.” (Usually translated, “It is I.”)
As Jesus got closer, the disciples could see that it really was Him, and they gladly welcomed Him on board. Suddenly, the wind stopped blowing (Mark 6:51), and they were able to row very quickly to Capernaum, where they were headed.
At this point, the disciples didn’t know what to make of all of this. They already had seen that Jesus was no ordinary man, or even a normal miracle worker. Everything He did seemed to raise the bar another notch. But to walk on water was so far outside the realm of the imaginable that they were more freaked out than ever. Eventually they would find a place in their heads for all of this to fit. But for now, all they could do was to ponder these amazing things in their hearts.
Father, we are just as vulnerable to getting freaked out by the things You do as the disciples were. Just about the time we think we have You figured out, pigeon-holed into a comfortable place in our heads, You do something even more amazing, showing us a truth about Yourself that opens our minds to dimensions we have not even imagined. But, as off-balance as these times can make us feel, they are actually a good thing. Help us to never amend or explain away what we see, what You have shown us. Instead, help us to wrestle constructively with every ray of new light that You give us, until we are able to assimilate it. Amen.