Get Jesus Into Our Boat
John 6:16-21 NIV
When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don't be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
The disciples set off without Jesus and only managed to row three or four miles because of strong winds and rough waters.
A similar account in Mark 6:45-48 recorded that it was Jesus who made his disciples go ahead without him while he went up a mountainside to pray. He saw them straining at the oars at night but only went out to them shortly before dawn.
In the same way, Jesus may make us set out into the strong winds and rough waters of life. Like the disciples, we can’t progress far no matter how hard we struggle against the challenges. That’s what happens when we don’t have Jesus in our boat. Yet Jesus keeps his eyes on us even as he allows us to battle it on our own; we are never left totally alone in our struggles. And just as Jesus walked over to his disciples, he will come over to us.
The disciples were frightened when they saw Jesus approaching them. His ability to walk on water made them mistake him for a ghost (Mark 6:49). That’s what we do to Jesus sometimes too. Instead of marvelling at his power, we fear what he may do to us. We are afraid to bring him into our lives.
We sometimes fear sharing our problems with God too. We may think our problems are too trivial for God. Or we may deceive ourselves about our own strengths, thinking that “three or four miles” is progress.
Think about it, God wants a relationship with us, so He wants to be involved in our problems. He is not an absent father, leaving us to fight the storms of life alone. He is there to support and encourage us, and if necessary, step in to help us. No problem is too big or too small for Him. Problem or no problem, He wants to be a part of our lives.
If walking on water was a miracle that terrified the disciples, allowing Jesus into their boat brought about another miracle that gave them instant relief from their challenges, “immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading”. Their problems were solved.
That’s what happens when we allow Jesus into our boats too. His power that terrifies us has the ability to help us reach our destination too.
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit. Andy joined the Central Christian Church in 1990.