“But right away Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I! Do not be afraid.”” (Matthew 14:27)

In the Greek when Jesus speaks he says just five words.  They look like this: θαρσεῖτε, ἐγώ εἰμι· μὴ φοβεῖσθε, which is to say Take courage, it is I! Do not be afraid. [I realize Jesus spoke in Aramaic, but all we have is what the gospel writers gave us, so bear with me here for a minute].

The disciples rightly believed that they were in existential danger in the middle of the night in an open boat when a nasty storm suddenly bore down on them in the middle of the Sea of Galilee [the Sea is known for such storms even to this day].  There is nothing quite so dark and liable to bring one’s fears than a stormy night at sea.

Jesus comes along walking along the water and he speaks as if he doesn’t have a concern in the world [which he certainly did not].  He says five words.  Just five.  “Courage men.  It is me.  Don’t be afraid any more.” [Because I understand that you certainly are afraid]  Jesus gets into the boat.  The wind and waves calm down immediately.  The disciples realize that they are in the presence of someone who is not a normal person. Truly you are the son of God, they say. [And of course, he was and is]

Five words and men are saved from mortal danger.  Five words and the wind and waves calm down.  Five words and Jesus has upended our understanding of the world for all time.  Danger is a handmaiden to Our Sovereign God.  It can go just as far as He who holds danger in his hand, but not one millimeter further.  The wind and waves can blow, but only within his sovereign will and completely subject to his word.

I’m not a rocket scientist, but I’m willing to bet that every other force of nature is just as likely to respond to Jesus’ words as the wind and waves.  Indeed, I know that not only natural forces, but the spiritual forces of darkness, are just as subject to the command of Jesus as storms are.  Nothing.  Not. A. Thing. Is outside of and independent of Our God.

Oh…Paul agrees with me:

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38–39, ESV)

 

 

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