In my state severe weather is just a part of life in the spring and summer. We have thunderstorms, severe thunderstorms, and tornados. Each year in March I teach the moms in my morning class the difference between watch and warning. Watch means maybe and warning means one is coming. When a severe thunderstorm is coming, we know from the TV alerts. If a tornado is coming, the sirens also go off.
We can also tell by looking at the sky. Where I live, it is flat. There are no mountains to block our view of the horizon. Sometimes I like to watch the clouds forming.
After Jesus fed the thousands that I wrote about last week, the disciples got in the boat and left. Lake Capernaum, also know as the Sea of Galilee, is surrounded by mountains. If a person is on the lake, they cannot see storm clouds gathering or coming. At the time Jesus was on earth, there was no warning system. Storms were abrupt surprises.
The disciples were about three miles out on the lake when the storm came and overtook them. The boat they were in would have been small compared to what one might see today out on a large lake. Lake Capernaum is 66 square miles, 166 square km. The boat was being tossed around on the large waves. That in itself would have been frightening enough for the disciples in the boat. They would have been working hard to keep from capsizing.
Then in the midst of the storm, they see someone walking on the water towards them. Think of the combination, in a small fishing boat on a large lake in the midst of a storm and then seeing someone walking on the water. No one had seen such a thing before.
Seeing the person walking on water took the already frightened disciples and made them panic. Their conclusion was that a ghost was on the water. Then they hear Jesus say, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” After they welcomed him into the boat, the boat immediately reached the shore. They were saved from danger.
One thing I note from this is that Jesus came to them in the midst of their peril and they had not asked for help. Jesus comes to us in our troubles in life before we ask. He is always with us.
Another thing I note from this is what Jesus said to them. It is a phrase Jesus used at other times when someone was frightened by seeing him in his glory. He says to us, “Don’t be afraid. It is me.” Jesus is the lover of our souls. He is our Savior. He knows our weaknesses. He says to us, “Don’t be afraid. It is me.”
One more thought, their peril ended when they welcome Jesus into the boat. They immediately made it the rest of the way. When we invite Jesus into our problems, things can start happening. It is much better to have Jesus with us in the midst of our problems than to try to go it alone.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.