Do not be afraid.

Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.

He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

Do you ever wonder how Jesus knew that he could walk on water? Or why he felt the need to walk so close to  the disciple's boat?  The image of him coming towards the boat captivates one's imagination. In it we see how the Lord was not constrained by natural laws. When the wind stops blowing we are confronted by the idea that He is greater than nature.

I think that the fearful response by the disciples is pretty normal - I am pretty sure that I would have freaked out. Yet I wonder about the commentary offered in that last sentence. Is a fearful response to the miraculous a sign of a hardened heart? Perhaps not but it does make me wonder how much of my fear has its roots in a heart that refuse to believe.

Soften my heart Lord and help me to not be afraid.

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