Fear Not!

“Fear Not!”
A reflection on John 6:16-21
Saturday of the Second Week of Easter
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Caper′na-um. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea rose because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat. They were frightened, but he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

John 6:16-21

Chaotic Waters of Creation

Amédée Varin (1818-1883), Le Christ marchant sur la mer

Darkness, turbulent waters, and a mighty wind threatened to capsize the disciples into the whirling vortex of chaos. The image recalls the antediluvian chaos at the dawn of creation.

and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters—

Genesis 1:2 (New American Bible Revised Edition)

Order Out of Chaos

“I AM. Fear not.”

John 6:20

Egō eimi. The Greek words for “I AM” in John 6:20 recall the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton (the divine name) in Exodus 3:14. By the power of the indwelling Spirit in his divinized humanity, Jesus pacified the wind and waves. “In the beginning,” the Spirit also hovered over the waters when God spoke order into being.

And the earth was tohu vavohu (without form, and void); and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) was hovering upon the face of the waters.

Genesis 1:2 (Orthodox Jewish Bible)

Timeless Encounter

Space and time seemed to spiral to a point in that moment of encounter with God in a man. In the twinkling of an eye, the boat landed ashore at Capernaum.

In the stormy sea, trust in the Lord, who says, 
I AM. Fear not!

2 Replies to “Fear Not!”

  1. “They were glad to take him into their boat!”
    Am I slow to invite God into my life boat?
    Am I fearful of how I may be changed
    when God’s grace touches me?
    Am I mindful of God’s outstretched hand?
    As the Apostles’ boat was supercharged,
    they went full speed ahead.
    Grace will move me at God-speed.
    Get ready for a ride that’s grand!

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