When you ask Jesus to get into your boat, you reach the other side of the lake immediately without any effort.


john6_20-21

Picture the scene on the sea in today’s Gospel reading. It was dark. The wind had blown up and the waves were rocking the boat. Then someone approaches, walking on the water. The disciples were terrified. ‘Don’t be afraid. It’s me!’ Jesus said.  Immediately their fears are abated. They are safe.

The phrase, “Be not afraid,” can be found more than 20 times in the New Testament. Jesus advises us that what is needed in place of fear is faith or trust. (Luke 8:50) It is a simple, clear message. When our Lord said, “It is I,” the disciples immediately recognized His voice and their fear dissipated. The sheep know the voice of the shepherd.

Perhaps the reason we so frequently let fear prevail is that we don’t recognize the voice of our Lord calling to us, in the midst of a storm or some unwanted outcome, to “be not afraid.” Perhaps, instead, we forget that we are sheep and assume we are masters of our own fate. Perhaps the frequent appearance of this phrase in the New Testament implies the need for its frequent repetition in our hearts and minds as we journey through life.

Before Jesus gets into the boat, it is dark, “with a strong wind blowing” and the sea “becoming rough”. The rowing is difficult, and progress is slow. But when we see the risen Jesus and want “to take Him into the boat”, suddenly we cover miles and reach our destination.

Do you want Jesus into the boat of your life? If you do, you must give your life to Him and let it be done unto you according to God’s word. You must lose your life in order for Jesus to come into your life and save it. When you let Jesus into your life, you will carry His cross daily.

When you ask Jesus to get into your boat, you reach the other side of the lake immediately without any effort. Are you trying too hard? Isn’t your yoke easy and your burden light? Then something’s wrong. You don’t have to row so hard. Invite Jesus into your boat, that is, your life, church, marriage, family, and work. It’s dark; a strong wind is blowing. The sea is becoming rough; you feel afraid. But as soon as you choose to take Jesus into the boat, put down the oars, you’re already there.

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