When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. John 6:19 NABRE
After feeding a large crowd Jesus sends His disciples across the sea to their next destination. He goes off to pray by Himself as they leave and after some time, they see Him walking on the water, but do not recognize Him. This is a very scary sight, no one is able to walk on the water and so they become afraid. In those days the sea is thought to hold evil and demons as no one is ever recovered when their ship sinks or they drown, fear is the appropriate reaction. Jesus recognizes their fear and says it is I. John throughout his gospel, writes so we think of Jesus as God and has many “I Am” responses in his text. “I Am” is God’s response to Moses when he asks who shall I say sent me, so it is a designation for God in Hebrew society.
I suppose if we see God walking towards on the sea or even on land, we too would be afraid. God’s power is so overwhelming we cannot be in His presence without being violently affected. Scripture tells us we cannot see the face of God and live. God is in a spiritual realm and we don’t travel in that realm very often, so the things we see there may be different from what we see in the physical world. Christ brings the physical and spiritual together, or at least shows us we can travel from one to the other. God coming toward us says, it is I and this calms us because we would know it is Love. In contemplative prayer we can enter a space where God speaks to us, and we often feel peace with God taking away our fear. Praying in this manner gives great rest, the disciples know this rest, as their boat arrives as they see Jesus. God takes away all fear, so we should look for Him.
Have you felt God’s peace in prayer? When you sit quietly do you let God speak?In contemplative prayer we can enter a space where God speaks to us, and we often feel peace with God taking away our fear. Praying in this manner gives great rest. God takes away all fear, so we should look for Him. Click To Tweet
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