Nothing to fear

Lessons from Mark 6:45-51

When Jesus walks on water and calms the storm

Observation and Background Information

Jesus and His disciples had finished feeding the 5,000 when Jesus told them to get in the boat and go ahead of Him to Bethsaida, while He sent the crowd home. After the satisfied flock departed, Jesus went to the mountain top to pray. 

Later that night, Jesus noticed that His disciples were straining at the oars in the middle of the lake, because the wind was against them. 

Shortly before dawn, He walked to them on the water. They thought He was a ghost and were terrified, but He calmed them with His words and climbed into the boat. When he did that, the wind died down.

Interpretation

Jesus knows when we’re going through trials because He is God and omniscient. However, it seems in this instance that even though He knew His disciples were struggling, He waited from later than night until shortly before dawn to go out on the water and calm the storm. Jesus had a number of things to accomplish when He was here on earth, but the ultimate goal was to bring glory to His father. In this circumstance, what was going to glorify His father the most was to wait before walking on the water to His disciples.

Application

This contrasts with the idea that Jesus is a present help in times of trouble. I know the Bible doesn’t contradict itself, but I always thought that He helps me whenever I ask, right when I ask, and it will be what’s best for ME. It’s difficult for me to realize that He knew that the disciples were struggling against the wind and didn’t immediately walk on the lake help them. 

I have to stop and ask myself: 

What’s the bottom line here?

For Jesus, the bottom line was to bring His father glory. He knew the disciples were having a rough time, yet He waited to rescue them from the waves. He did this because, in His divine wisdom, He knew it would bring His father more glory to wait until shortly before dawn to walk on the lake near the disciples. 

But what about when I’M struggling? When the wind is going against me, I’m in the middle of the lake, and things aren’t going the way I planned? Is Jesus going to leave me there until shortly before dawn, even when I ask Him to rescue me? 

The real answer is I don’t know, but no matter what He does, I have to choose to trust Him, even when I don’t understand. I am following Jesus, and if His ultimate goal is to glorify His father, that has to be mine too, no matter the cost, whether lack of comfort or understanding. He is the Good Shepherd, the BEST Shepherd, and I have to trust Him wherever He allows me to be, even if that’s in the valley of the shadow of death. 

The good news? When He is guiding me, I lack nothing, and that’s the truth for anyone who follows the Good Shepherd. In fact, if you’re following Him, He promises that your cup will overflow. He guides us along the right paths, for His name’s sake. Maybe it’s not the path I would choose, but it’s the one He chooses because He knows best. If we choose to trust Him, we have nothing to fear. 

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