February 20 – Taking Courage, Not Fear

“But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”” – Mathew 14:27 (NASB)

A very young boy arrived at his new home deep in an African jungle. He was asked what he was afraid of. “I’m not afraid of nothin’!” That first night, in the darkness, in his bed, under a mosquito net, the unfamiliar jungle sounds frightened him so he could not sleep.” Fear comes on us from what we don’t understand. Jesus using a few loaves of bread and pieces of smoked fish, created enough food to satisfy far more* than 5,000 people. Each disciple ended up with their own small basket of left-overs. Jesus sends them across the Sea of Galilee in their boat and He remained on shore. In the middle of the lake, a sudden storm blows in and threatens to upset their boat. The disciples, see Jesus approaching their boat walking on the surface of the lake. This wasn’t familiar and they cry out in fear, “It’s a ghost!” Jesus calls out to them, “Take courage, It is I; don’t be afraid.” Jesus says the same to us when we’re overcome with fear. Take courage, Jesus is with us. He’s promised to always be with us in all circumstances.  

* The number of men was 5,000, not including women and children, who probably brought the total up to 20,000.

John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible., (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Jn 6:10.