What Jesus Did! 'I Am, Do Not Fear!' — John 6:16-20

Saturday, April 26, 2014

That evening Jesus' followers went down to the lake (Lake Galilee). It was dark now and Jesus had not yet come back to them. The followers got into a boat and started going across the lake to Capernaum. The wind was blowing very hard. The waves on the lake were becoming bigger. They rowed the boat about three or four miles. Then they saw Jesus. He was walking on the water. He was coming to the boat. The followers were afraid. But Jesus said to them, "Don't be afraid. It's me."
— John 6:16-20
Illustration of John 6:16-20 — "Don't be afraid. It's me."

Key Thought

Jesus' words to his terrified disciples were powerful: "I Am, do not fear!" Built on his "I Am" statements throughout the Gospel of John, this one shouldn't be underestimated. Jesus' words build upon the twin concepts of the God of Israel who revealed himself as the great "I Am" in Exodus and the God who rescues from the ocean deep in the Psalms. "I am God with you; you don't need to be afraid! I can still the storm. I can preserve and protect." Jesus comes to us in the middle of our storms and says the same to us. Storms are inevitable. But rather than taking cover in the storms of our lives, Jesus comes and meets us in the middle of them so we don't have to be alone!

Today's Prayer

Give me faith, O God, to believe that in the worst of my life's storms, I can trust that you are there and that you will ransom me home. Thank you for the assurance that you will never leave me or forsake me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Later, Jesus went across Lake Galilee (Lake Tiberias). Many people followed Jesus. They followed him because they saw the ways Jesus showed his power by healing the sick people. Jesus went up on the side of the hill. He sat there with his followers. It was almost the time for the Jewish Passover festival. Jesus looked up and saw many people coming toward him. Jesus said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough bread for all these people to eat?" (Jesus asked Philip this question to test him. Jesus already knew what he planned to do.) Philip answered, "We would all have to work a month to buy enough bread for each person here to have only a little piece!" Another follower there was Andrew. Andrew was Simon Peter's brother. Andrew said, "Here is a boy with five loaves of barley bread and two little fish. But that is not enough for so many people." Jesus said, "Tell the people to sit down." This was a very grassy place. There were about 5,000 men that sat down there. Then Jesus held the loaves of bread. Jesus thanked God for the bread and gave it to the people that were waiting to eat. He did the same with the fish. Jesus gave the people as much as they wanted. All the people had enough to eat. When they finished, Jesus said to his followers, "Gather the pieces of fish and bread that were not eaten. Don't waste anything." So the followers gathered up the pieces that were left. The people had started eating with only five loaves of barley bread. But the followers filled twelve large baskets with the pieces of food that were left. The people saw this miracle that Jesus did. The people said, "He must truly be the Prophet that is coming into the world." Jesus knew that the people wanted him to become king. The people planned to come get Jesus and make him their king. So Jesus left and went into the hills alone. That evening Jesus' followers went down to the lake (Lake Galilee). It was dark now and Jesus had not yet come back to them. The followers got into a boat and startedgoing across the lake to Capernaum. The wind was blowing very hard. The waves on the lake were becoming bigger. They rowed the boat about three or four miles. Then they saw Jesus. He was walking on the water. He was coming to the boat. The followers were afraid. But Jesus said to them, "Don't be afraid. It's me." After Jesus said this, the followers were happy to take Jesus into the boat. Then the boat came to land at the place where they wanted to go.

John 6:1-21

Related Scripture Readings

Then the Lord said, "I have seen the troubles my people have suffered in Egypt. And I have heard their cries when the Egyptians hurt them. I know about their pain. Now I will go down and save my people from the Egyptians. I will take them from that land. And I will lead them to a good land where they can be free from troubles. It is a land filled with many good things. Many different people live in that land: the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. I have heard the cries of the people of Israel. I have seen the way the Egyptians have made life hard for them. So now I am sending you to Pharaoh. Go! Lead my people, the people of Israel, out of Egypt!" But Moses said to God, "I am not a great man! How can I be the person to go to Pharaoh and lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?" God said, "You can do it because I will be with you! This will be the proof that I am sending you: After you lead the people out of Egypt, you will come and worship me on this mountain!" Then Moses said to God, "But if I go to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your ancestors sent me,' then the people will ask, 'What is his name?' What should I tell them?" Then God said to Moses, "{Tell them,} 'I AM WHO I AM.' When you go to the people of Israel, tell them, 'I AM' sent me to you."

Exodus 3:7-14

So what should we say about this? If God is for us, then no person can stand against us. And God is with us. He even let his own Son suffer for us. God gave his Son for us all. So with Jesus now, God will surely give us all things. Who can accuse the people that God has chosen? No one! God is the One who makes his people right. Who can say that God's people are guilty? No one! Christ Jesus died {for us}, but that is not all. He was also raised from death. And now he is at God's right side and is begging God for us. Can anything separate us from Christ's love? No! Can trouble separate us from Christ's love? No! Can problems or persecution separate us from Christ's love? No! If we have no food or clothes, will that separate us from Christ's love? No! Will danger or even death separate us from Christ's love? No! Like it is written in the Scriptures : "For you (Christ) we are in danger of death all the time. People think we are worth no more than sheep to be killed." But in all these things we have full victory through God who showed his love for us. Yes, I am sure that nothing can separate us from God's love—not death, not life, not angels or ruling spirits. I am sure that nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us or nothing below us—nothing in the whole created world—will ever be able to separate us from God's love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31-39

Keep your lives free from the love of money. And be satisfied with the things you have. God has said, "I will never leave you; I will never run away from you." So we can feel sure and say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. People can do nothing to me."

Hebrews 13:5-6

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.