They are alone, far from shore and safety.
They are exhausted. They had rowed half the night, and they were just halfway to their destination, still three or four miles ahead.
The clouds were thick, blotting out the celestial light. Darkness shrouded them. They were lost, unable to see east from west or north from south. Lost.
The storm was a doozie! They were drenched by driving rain. Hurricane-like winds whipped up the waves and furiously tossed and turned the little rowboat. The strong, young fishermen, strained at the oars, doing all they could, clinging to life!
That’s when they saw the ghost! They were normally ten-feet-tall and bullet-proof. This night they cried like little girls. They were terrified!
Have you ever been there? Are you there now?
It’s never hopelessly hopeless when Jesus is near.
They weren’t alone. Jesus had been watching over them. He knew. He saw. It wasn’t a ghost, it was Jesus. He came, walking across the waves. Impossible. But true.
Over the roar of the gale, they heard the well-known voice of Jesus announcing “Do not fear! It is I!” (John 6:20)
The disciples probably missed the message. What they heard was, “I came to save you from drowning.” What Jesus really said was, “I AM is with you!” It is I... I AM! (Remember the burning bush in Exodus 3? God said, “I AM!”)
And when the All-Knowing, Always-Present, Ever-Existing One, the I AM, stepped into the boat, He wordlessly commanded the winds to cease.
It’s a sign.
Don’t be afraid. Jesus, the I AM, is near.
(Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21)