Mark 6:49-50- And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” NKJV
Companions – Part 2 – Wonderful Jesus!
Sometimes it is easy to forget the fact that God has unlimited power. I know that we have all trained our mouths to say that He is God and nothing is impossible for Him! I know we all confess that there is no one like Him, not in the heavens above or the earth beneath! But when it really comes down to it, most of us live like the devil has more power than God does. That needs to change!
When trouble hits us and we become overwhelmed in the midst of it, feeling like giving up on God, that’s our moment of thinking that God isn’t who He said He is! When stuff just keeps coming at us, bombarding us on every side, and we want to walk away from God because things are just too hard, that’s our moment of thinking that Satan is greater than God!
What we need to understand and settle in our hearts is that there is no other god like our God. He is truly greater than the enemy, and Satan hasn’t forged a weapon that God cannot thwart every single time!
Most people know of the time when Jesus walked on water. The only other person in history who walked on water was Peter. I know of no others. For some reason, Jesus’ ability to walk on water has always been associated with His holiness, yet that certainly didn’t apply to Peter. It was simply because He believed that He could!
Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.Mark 6:45-46 NKJV
From the disciples perspective, this night was no different than any other night. Jesus had ministered to crowds, and miracles took place. Other than the fact that He had miraculously fed 5,000 men, it was business as usual. Jesus had sent them to Bethsaida, He closed the service, and went to a mountain to pray. But what He did next was completely supernatural, and I have not heard of its duplication!
Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.Mark 6:47-48 NKJV
Mark says that Jesus saw the disciples in the boat, struggling to get to the other side. They had made it to the middle of the sea, but the wind was against them and they weren’t making much progress. After His time of prayer, He decided to go to Bethsaida, but since He didn’t have a boat, He decided to walk on water! Look at God!
I’ve seen a lot of water in my lifetime. I have seen both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Michigan, and several other large bodies of water. Every once in a while, I’ll stick my feet in the water, and without fail, my foot cuts through the water and touches land. But not so with Jesus!
Once He decided that He was going to the other side by walking on the water, the water became a road in the midst of the sea! Mark said that Jesus had planned to pass them by. He wasn’t walking to get in the boat, He was walking to the other side!
And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.Mark 6: 49-51 NKJV
Can you imagine being on a boat in the middle of the sea and suddenly you see a person walking towards you? I can only imagine! The fear He caused to rise in the hearts of His disciples had to be great! Who has ever heard of anybody walking on water? At that time, I am pretty sure that the answer was a firm, nobody! And we have only heard of two! Yet, He walked on water without anything under His feet to give Him additional support!
Mark said the disciples thought they were seeing a ghost and it caused them to cry out. I’m thinking they did more screaming than a crowd at a horror flick! I would have been louder than they were! Jesus stopped to talk with the disciples and told them to be of good cheer because it was Him, and they didn’t need to be afraid! I don’t know y’all! I think I may have still been dealing with the adrenaline rush that accompanies fear! This was not your everyday occurrence! This went beyond speaking to the winds. As a matter of fact, He had literally walked across water, with winds and waves strong enough to hinder them from progressing in their journey! This was a lot!
Don’t be afraid, Jesus said! How many times do we have to be told by God, or Jesus, or the Holy Spirit to not give in to fear? Too many times! I’m included in this number, but it’s nothing to be proud of! At some point, we have to learn to trust His word to us knowing that nothing can stop His word from coming to pass! We have to just decide to not to be afraid!
Our daughter joined the Navy several years ago. One of her first assignments when she graduated from OCS (Officer Candidate School) was a year in Bahrain. I want you to know that we weren’t happy with that assignment. Immediately every negative thing we had heard about the Middle East tried to bombard our hearts and minds, but we had to reject it. We knew that in accepting the negative thoughts and situations that could come at her, we would be filled with fear, worry, and become paralyzed in our faith. So we decided to not be afraid. Did we pray? Absolutely! But not in fear, in faith! And she had an uneventful year! Thank the Lord!
Just as I have had to be reminded not to fear, I have also had to be reminded to trust God! When Jesus said, “Be of good cheer,” He wasn’t telling them, “Don’t worry, be happy!” What He was telling them was to be courageous and not full of fear! That’s still His message today! Every piece of bad news doesn’t have to cause fear in our hearts! We don’t have to live in fear of getting cancer! We don’t have to live in fear of being shot down in the streets! We don’t have to live in fear of having our identity stolen!
If we are not careful, we will allow statistics, news reports, what happened to Cousin Sally and Uncle Bob cause us to think that the devil is sovereign and God is a weakling. This is so far from the truth that it is hilarious. The devil has never been a match for God. Jesus said that He saw Satan fall from heaven like lightening! (Luke 10:18) Paul wrote that Jesus made a spectacle of the devil in Colossians! These are the types of pictures we need to keep at the forefront of our mind when trouble attacks! The One that lives within us is still greater than the one who lives in the world! Wonderful Jesus!