22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
Jesus sends his disciples ahead and spends time alone to prepare and pray for the next leg of their journey. Each mission they go on together marches inevitably to the trials he knows will await in Jerusalem.
The disciples venture onto the Sea of Galilee and soon face a violent storm. Jesus continues to pray late into the night, even into the next morning. We’re told that it isn’t until the “fourth watch,” likely between 3:00 and 6:00 AM that they finally see Jesus coming toward them. By this time they’ve been fighting the storms at least nine hours. Unsurprisingly, when Jesus comes into view, they fear he is an evil spirit!
Jesus calls out to them and says not to fear because “It is I,” or in their language, “I am.” This calls us back to the interaction between Moses and God at the burning bush (Exodus 3). The disciples would have been very familiar with this story and with this name for God. Think of the assurance it brought them in the middle of the storm to know their Savior was in their midst.
Imagine the furious waves, the lightning flashing, the chaos of the night. Jesus demonstrates his power and authority over all creation by walking toward them on top of the water. In him there was no fear or doubt. He stepped into the boat and instantly the storms ceased. With fear and doubt gone, the only fitting response was to worship Jesus and recognize he is truly the Son of God!
Take a moment today to worship and thank God for His power. Praise Him for who He is and for all that He has done.