Read Matthew 14:22-32, Mark 6:45-51 & John 6:16-21
The crowd were euphoric after Jesus had fed five thousand men, plus women and children, with just five loaves and two fish: ‘After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the prophet who is to come into the world”. Jesus knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew to a mountain by himself’ (John 6:14-15). Jesus knew that this was not his time to reign as king on a royal throne, for he had come to wear a crown of thorns and die to be the ‘Saviour of the World’.
The disciples had feared the storm, but they were terrified when they thought they had seen a ghost and they cried out (literally screamed) in panic. But Jesus immediately said to them, “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”
Matthew and Mark say that ‘he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him… while he dismissed the crowd’. Not an easy thing to do, but the Christ had great authority and he dissolved the crowd into the dusk, leaving himself alone on the mountain to pray. If it was important for him to be alone with God his Father, we need to also consider it important for us to find time to be alone with God. We are not told the content of his prayer. Was he expressing his concern about those men in the boat? Perhaps he prayed to increase their faith and reveal himself to them, not just as a miracle worker or a great prophet, but to see his true nature as the Son of God.
Jesus had sent his disciples away and they encountered a great storm while they were obeying him. We can be doing exactly what he wants us to be doing, and a storm still comes. Though we may not understand it at the time, it may be sent to ultimately increase our faith and have others may see Christ in us.
It says in Mark’s account that Jesus saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. The night was dark and they were a long way away, but Jesus saw them. Surely this was a miracle of the divine Christ. He always knows where his own are, so that he can come to them in their hour of need.
The disciples had feared the storm, but they were terrified when they thought they had seen a ghost and they cried out (literally screamed) in panic. But Jesus immediately said to them, “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” He comes to us too, when we would be panicked. If you are in the place of obedience, you have nothing to fear.
Tony Smith, The Church of God in Kirkintilloch