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.