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Daily Reading: Genesis 44:1-45:28 ESV, Matthew 14:13-36 ESV, Psalm 18:37-50 ESV, Proverbs 4:11-13 ESV

Daily Verse: “But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear.” (Matthew 14:26 ESV)

PHOBOS (5401): “Alarm or fright. First had the meaning of “flight,” that which is caused by being scared; then, “that which may cause flight.”[I]

Miraculous fear.

When the disciples saw Jesus’ walking on the water, they experienced fear.  Jesus appeared during the fourth watch between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m.  Winds raged, causing massive waves, creating a slow and grueling trek for the sailors.  Jesus, having spent time on the mountaintop communing with His Father, re-joins His faithful crew.  Never would the disciples imagine their Savior walking on water. 

Peter keeping an eye on the sea, probably thought he was hallucinating when a figure appeared out of nowhere.  Fear causes not only an emotional response but also a physical one.  As Jesus came closer, stress hormones released into the body would cause blood pressure and heart rate to increase, breathing becomes faster, and blood flows to the limbs, preparing for battle.[i]  The disciples were on high alert, emotionally and physically.

Jesus brings calm.

“But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I.  Do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27 ESV)

Peter reacted fearfully to the miraculous event. Jesus understood his fright, immediately calming Peter by identifying Himself.  Peter, still doubting, needed reassurance. 

“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” (Matthew 14:28 ESV)

Fear’s powerful impact on us both physically and emotionally requires divine intervention.  Peter needed Jesus to calm his concerns.  Stepping out of the boat, Peter walked on water, but as soon as he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink.  Once again, Jesus responded immediately to Peter’s fright, reaching out His hand, lifting him.

Don’t let fear make you miss miraculous events.  Cry out to Jesus for help.  Receive divine calm by seeking Jesus.  Fear recedes when we place our eyes on Jesus.

[i] https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/emotional-health/5-things-you-never-knew-about-fear

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. (p. 265) Thomas Nelson

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