“When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. John 6:16-21
In this story, the disciples are crossing the sea in one of their boats, something they have been doing on a regular basis, and a storm whips up that causes the waters to get rough. We have all experienced times like that. We’re going along just fine doing what we normally do, until a storm whips up that causes our waters to get rough, too.
That’s sort of a metaphor for the year 2020 for most of us. We’re going along just fine, going to work, getting together with friends on the weekends, taking the kids to their sports practice, shopping at the mall, all very normal things, until the storm called COVID whips up and roughens our waters.
In John’s story, the waves are rough, the wind is blowing, and the disciples are working their way through the storm as usual. Then they see something that frightens them, they see Jesus. They don’t seem to recognize him because he has to assure them that it’s Him. Jesus is in the middle of their storm walking toward them on the waves.
There have been times when I have been in the middle of chaos in my life, like the disciples were. Many of those times Jesus was in the middle of the storm and I didn’t recognize Him, either. I would get frightened just like the disciples did. But those times He told me the same thing He told them, “do not be afraid.”
It’s when the disciples believed Jesus and brought Him into their boat that they were immediately at their destination.
This story stands alone in the Bible. There is no supporting scripture that refers to it or explains it, nothing more is ever said about it. I think the reason is that it makes its own point.
The point is, Jesus is our destination. Everything comes to its fulfillment in Jesus, good and bad. If we are not led to Jesus, we’ve missed the point.
We are in the middle of the storm called COVID right now. If you are not led to Jesus during this time, you are lost in the chaos of the world without any point. During this storm Jesus is revealing Himself as the One who keeps us safe eternally; the One who knows the future and is working for good in it; the One who has ultimate victory over all of the evil in the world, including deadly illnesses. This storm is our opportunity to understand that we have no control, only Jesus does; we have no power, only Jesus does; we have no hope in this world alone, only in Jesus. In the middle of this storm we discover that we are all more alike than different, we are all created in the image of our Creator, Jesus; and we are all saved to eternal life only through the One Savior, Jesus.