May 5

Text: Matthew 14:27, 33

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid."   . . . And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "You are certainly God's Son!"  (NASB)

To follow Jesus, it is essential to be convinced that he is dedicated to our best interest.  We must be confident that he does not seek to coerce us, or use us, or hurt us.  Immaturity prevents us from realizing or understanding the danger we pose to ourselves.  Yet, he knows how we hurt ourselves!

The Christian is convinced that Jesus’ concern for us and his ability to help us are greater than any human fear.  Whether the fear is expected or unexpected, it cannot and will not defeat the resurrected Jesus.  Thus the Christian’s trust goes beyond the human’s senses, or human understanding, or human experiences.  Why?  This trust is based on confidence in the significance of Jesus’ resurrection.  The meaning of his resurrection warrants the kind of trust that produces a follower.

In today’s text, note two things.  (1) Note how quickly Jesus removed the 12’s anxiety.  (a) He did not belittle them for thinking he was a ghost or for screaming.  In fact, he affirmed they still could be men of courage.  (b) He identified himself: “You know me; it is me, the person you are with every day.  You have no reason to be afraid.  I do not want you to be afraid.”

(2) Note their reaction.  They did not resentfully say, “You scared us terribly!” or, “Why did you put us in this predicament?” or, “Was this trip really necessary?”  Instead, they worshipped him!  They understood as never before who he was—he was certainly God’s son.  Instead of feeling resentment, they elevated their understanding of Jesus’ identity.  This new understanding was in every way worth a night of fearful rowing!  The new realization was worth their night on a stormy sea!

Suggestion for reflection: How would a heightened understanding of Jesus’ identity benefit you?  (Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19.)

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