Rev. Dan Puckett: The proof is in the basketsPublished 10:53pm Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Jesus spoke these words to his disciples in the gospel of Mark 6:50: “It is I; do not be afraid.”
The disciples were in a boat in the middle of the night on the Sea of Galilee. The wind was blowing, the waves were rising, and the disciples were making no progress.
Jesus had sent the disciples on ahead of Him after He had miraculously fed more than 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. The disciples were in the boat; Jesus was walking on the water. In the midst of all their difficulty, the disciples concluded that Jesus must have been a ghost and they were terrified. Jesus simply called out to them and said, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
“Do not be afraid.” Seems easy to say, but it is hard to do when you seem overwhelmed with circumstances beyond your control. In similar situations, when the disciples were in a tough place, Jesus would ask, “Where is your faith?”
Faith is a belief system based on information you deem credible or things you have experienced that turned out as predicted. These disciples had both: credible information and experience with Jesus.
In the hours before the disciples embarked on this trip across the sea, they had been with Jesus when he fed a multitude of people with very small resources. After all those people had eaten all they wanted, Jesus instructed the disciples to pick up the fragments of food. They did. They picked up 12 basketfuls.
There were 12 disciples; each must have had a basket of food fragments. They must have had the food with them in the boat.
The disciples did not realize it, but Jesus had already prepared them for this current storm. They had just experienced a mighty miracle. They had seen Jesus take a little food and multiply it into enough to feed a multitude. Jesus even had the disciples serve the food to all those people. Would you not think that if we had gone through similar circumstances, we could now confidently and with faith face the next test?
The proof of the mighty power of Jesus was in the boat with them, yet they disregarded it and were filled with fear.
In Mark 6:52, we read, “They had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.”
They were rejecting truth, and their circumstances overwhelmed them.
All of us are going to face storms — trials and tribulations. Through them all, Jesus is saying the same thing to us: “It is I; do not be afraid.” The disciples had the evidence of a miracle … basketfuls of food remaining. We have the evidence of an empty tomb, a resurrected Christ.
If Jesus Christ has power over death and the grave (Revelation 1:18), what could possibly happen to us that he does not and cannot control?
“It is I; do not be afraid!
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