Mark 6:45-52 – “And immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the multitude away. 46 And after bidding them farewell, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 And when it was evening, the boat was in the midst of the sea, and He was alone on the land. 48 And seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night, He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them. 49 But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were frightened. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” 51 And He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were greatly astonished, 52 for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.” NASB
I ask that we focus on the words of verse 51 – “And He (Jesus) got into the boat with them…” In life we have two choices, we can attempt to be the captain of our fate and the master of our life ship or we can allow the Lord Jesus Christ to be our Rock and Foundation. We can live in fear or faith. It is a choice and often a daily choice.
In this account, Jesus had just completed the miracle of feeding the 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 small fish. After the crowd had eaten, the scraps amounted to 12 baskets full. Some have a difficult time believing this miracle because they are locked into a natural mindset where the miraculous is impossible and impermissible.
Once He had completed His teaching and feeding the multitude, He directed the disciples to get into a boat and depart for Bethsaida. The text is more emphatic than directed it says, “He made them…” Jesus then went up the mountain for a season of prayer. They probably did not expect to see Him until the next day when they likely assumed, He would take another boat and come. As the night began to fall on them, there arose a very commonplace storm. They were struggling with difficult rowing conditions and probably were praying.
Jesus was watching from the mountain. I don’t know if He could see them in the natural of if He was observing through the eyes of the Spirit of God, but He saw them. He began to head to where they were, and another miracle transpired. He was walking on the water! The Bible says that He intended to pass them by and go to the other side, but they saw Him. Of course, seeing Him walking on the water, they assumed that it was a ghost or a spirit, not Jesus Himself.
In their fear and panic, they began to scream in fear. I do not doubt that, in their minds, this vision or appearance was an indication they were doomed. Jesus spoke to them through the noise of the storm and said, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” The account in Matthew lists an event that Mark omits. That was Peter’s response to Jesus. I believe it was the verbalization of the wonder of the others in the boat. He said, “Lord if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
Peter did not say, “Invite me but Command me.” In East Texas vernacular it would be, “I ain’t gettin’ out of this boat unless you order me to do so, but if you are not a ghost and this is really you – Give the Order!” Jesus did and Peter did, but Peter got his eyes off Jesus and began to sink. Jesus lifted him up and brought both of them to the boat.
Jesus got in the boat and once He got in the boat the storm stopped. The message for us should be, “Let Jesus in the Boat.” If you are in the midst of storms in your life and struggling to make it through the day, Let Jesus in the Boat. If you are faced with obstacles you know are about to overcome you, Let Jesus in the Boat.
What we need to do every day is to invite Jesus into the Boat of our Lives and allow Him to take us through to safety. He has promised to do just that, so why not embrace His Promises and enjoy His Provisions?
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!