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

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

That evening Jesus' disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn't come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, but he called out to them, "Don't be afraid. I am here!"
— John 6:16-20 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus' words to his terrified disciples were powerful. Literally, he said, "I AM; do not fear!" Built on his "I AM" statements [1] throughout the Gospel of John, this one shouldn't be underestimated. Jesus' words in today's verses are built upon the twin concepts of the God of Israel who revealed himself as the great "I AM" [2] and the God who rescues from the ocean deep in the Psalms. [3] Effectively, Jesus was saying, "I am God with you; you don't need to be afraid! I can still the storm. I can preserve and protect you." Jesus comes to us in the middle of our storms and says the same to us. Storms are inevitable. But rather than cowering in the storms of our lives, we need to remember that Jesus comes and meets us in the middle of the storms, so we aren't alone and don't have to be afraid!

[1] John 6:35, 8:12, 10:7, 10:11, 11:25, 14:6, 15:1.
[2] Exodus 3:13-15.
[3] e.g., Psalm 107:28-32.

Today's Prayer

Give me faith, O God, to believe that in even the worst of my life's storms, I can trust that you are here with me 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Exodus 3:7-15
  • Romans 8:31-39
  • Hebrews 13:5-6


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Illustration of John 6:16-20 NLT — "Don't be afraid. I am here!"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.