Jesus walking on the water captivates our imagination. It captivated me as a young boy. When I was 4 or 5, my Dad took me to see Superman 2. The three criminals from Krypton land in the water, levitate, and start walking on the water. I shouted out in the theater in amazement, “Dad! They’re walking on the water like Jesus!”
As an adult, it still captures my imagination.
In Mark 6, there are two aspects of this account that get my interest. The first is that Jesus is on land and sees the disciples straining at the oars.
This reminds me that even when I’m struggling, Jesus sees me. He doesn’t immediately relieve my difficulties. He allows me to struggle. There will be struggles in this life, and Jesus will allow me to go through them.
The second thing is that when He walks on the water, the text tells us that “He was about to pass by them . . .” He wasn’t going to fix their situation. He wasn’t going to relieve their difficulty. He was going to make His presence known to them and then pass by.
They responded with utter terror like the narrator in the Credence Clearwater Revival song.
Jesus responded simply: “It is I! Don’t be afraid.”
And He still does that for us. What if in the midst of my anxieties and fears, I could feel Jesus’ presence and hear Him saying, “It is I. Don’t be afraid”?