We read today the issue of crippling fear that hinders our relationship with God in the Spirit. What has Jesus said about not having to be afraid? How shall we not be afraid?
The questions: Why are people afraid? What are we afraid of?
The following two passages well answer these questions.
- People are afraid of the unknown including spiritual beings. When the disciples saw Jesus walking on water they were terrified. In their familiar human world no human had walked on water before. And they feared ghost (spirit). They especially feared spirit that could display supernatural power. Jesus knew they would be afraid and yet He chose to let them encounter His supernatural power and authority. He showed the disciples His supernatural power and authority over the natural elements like water, waves, and strong wind. Why?
- After two miraculous feedings of five and four thousands men and their families, and walking on water calming strong waves and wind, Jesus went further to show three of His closer disciples His true status as the Son of God. Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Jesus could even communicate direct with the heavenly beings (like Moses and Elijah who suddenly appeared). Again they were terrified. Why? This time they knew He is Jesus and not any ghost. Yet they were terrified. Why? Again, the answer is that people (including the disciples) normally ignore and harden their hearts (defensively) against the supernatural and unseen realm as it they are not real.
Jesus wanted His disciples to know and believe He is the Christ (Messiah), the Son of God who came down from heaven. Belief in Jesus takes faith. Faith is supernatural. Salvation is supernatural. Healing is supernatural. Being a disciple of Jesus is supernatural.
What did the Holy Spirit say about the disciples? For they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in. They knew Jesus as a man like them but not the Son of God who came down from heaven. Their relationship with Jesus was still on the mundane carnal-physiological and mental (not spiritual and supernatural) level. Indeed, only when they when they were baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit later after Jesus had resurrected and risen to heaven, then the disciples knew Jesus on a spiritual level and became fearless. Being baptized with the Holy Spirit, they became supernatural.
Mark 6:45-52 New Living Translation (NLT) This supernatural incident happened after Jesus had performed the great miracle of feeding 5,000 men and their families with mere five loaves and two fish!
Jesus Walks on Water
45 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. 46 After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.
47 Late that night, the disciples were in their boat in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land. 48 He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning[a] Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking he was a ghost. 50 They were all terrified when they saw him.
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here![b]” 51 Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed, 52 for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in.
1 Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. 2 As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. 3 Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus.
4 Peter exclaimed, “Lord, it’s wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I’ll make three shelters as memorials[a]—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5 But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” 6 The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground.
7 Then Jesus came over and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.”
- 17:4 Greek three tabernacles.