- Lesson 9 in the BaptistWay Press Connect360 unit “Miracles: The Transforming Power of Jesus” focuses on Matthew 14:22-33.
Imagine the experience! You catch something in your sight, immediately dismissing the first thought that enters your head. You reject the first thought that a person is walking toward you on the stormy sea because that’s impossible. But the longer you stare, the more the obscure shape comes into focus. Finally, you’re sure your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. But that can’t be a person. No one takes a walk on the sea!
In absolute terror the disciples cried out, thinking they saw a ghost. Then they heard a familiar voice. The disciples learned the lesson of Matthew 19:26: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Fear nothing created. Fear the Creator.
Jesus responded to the terrified disciples, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid” (v. 27b). Here we have three of the most potent phrases in the Christian faith. Since the first and the last sentences make sense only in light of what is said in between, let’s give our attention to those words: it is I. In the Greek New Testament, this phrase is two words. It’s the emphatic use of I am. A word-for-word translation would read, I, I am or I myself am. Jesus was emphasizing himself; he was emphasizing his presence with the powerful words, I AM. It is commonly agreed that by speaking in this way, Jesus was identifying himself with YHWH, the Creator God who revealed himself to Moses in Exodus 3.
The one treading on the stormy sea is the same being who said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And he gave these gathered waters their name (Genesis 1:9–10). He is the one who gave the seas their boundary “that they may not pass over; That they may not return to cover the earth” (Psalm 104:9). And he spoke to his disciples, giving them two commands that are familiar in Scripture. He instructed them to take courage and stop being afraid. Fear nothing created; fear the Creator. Do not fear the seas. Fear the one who will cause the seas to give up their dead, and then judge each one according to their deeds (Revelation 20:13). “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” I am here. I am with you. I have a purpose for you.
In the storms of life, Jesus can be trusted. Keep your eyes on him, making him the object of your ultimate devotion. He is the one who makes a way when there is no way. He is the one who saves us from the storm. Whether you’re in a season of life where you’re walking toward him or sinking, continue to cry out to him. He is faithful and mighty to save.
Compiled by Stan Granberry, marketing coordinator for BaptistWay Press.
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