The Gospel of John: a commentary & meditation 
Jesus said: “It is I; do not be afraid”

Scripture: John 6:16-21

16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Caper'na-um. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea rose because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat. They were frightened, 20 but he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." 21 Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

Meditation: Does the Lord ever seem distant to you?  When John recounted the apostles being alone at sea in a storm he described the situation as “dark” (John 6:17).  It was dark not only physically but spiritually as well. Although they were experienced fishermen, they were fearful for their lives. The Lord’s sudden presence on the sea only made them more fearful!  John says they were frightened.  And Jesus had to calm them with a reassuring command: “Do not be afraid because I am here with you!”

Aren’t we like the apostles when we experience darkness and adversity? While the Lord may at times seem distant to us, he, nonetheless is constantly present.  The scriptures remind us that the Lord is “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Whatever storms make beset us, he promises to “bring us to our desired haven” (Psalm 107:29-30). The Lord keeps watch over us at all times, and especially in our moments of temptation and difficulty.  Do you rely on the Lord for his strength and help?  Jesus assures us that we have no need of fear if we trust in Him and in his great love for us.   When calamities or trials threaten to overwhelm you, how do you respond? With faith and hope in God's love, care and presence with you?

“Lord, may I never doubt your saving help and watchful presence, especially in times of adversity.  Fortify my faith with courage and hope that I may never waver in my trust in you”.

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(c) 2001 Don Schwager