August 26 (Mark 6:50)
all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,”
he said. “Take courage! I am
I have yet to find an English version of the Bible that translates this verse literally. When Jesus walks on the water, and His disciples are quaking in fear, He does not say, “It is I.” He says simply and directly, “Have courage. I am. Don’t be afraid.” Even the New Living Translation, which comes as close as any to the actual Greek of the verse, adds the adverb “here.”
When Jesus comforts His friends with “I am,” He means something far more than what people usually mean when they say, “Don’t worry. I’m right here. I’ve got this.” He is announcing His presence as God. He does not need to say anything else about Himself. He doesn’t need to add that all will be okay or that He has everything under control. Like a clap of thunder in the midst of the storm they were experiencing, His “I am” is a declaration of sovereign authority in their midst.
And it is an earth-shaking declaration in the middle of your life, too. Too often we take our own ideas of what it means to be meek, mild, and loving and transfer them to Jesus, which results in our seeing Him as something less than He is. Instead, we must see that Jesus the Almighty, Who can stop the forces of nature with a word, chose to confine Himself to the weak body of a human being so that He could do what all of us never could with all our collected might, turn back the very force of death itself.
May my prayers come to You in faith, Lord, confident that You are the Almighty, the One Who can handle all my fears. In the name of all-powerful Jesus, amen.
Copyright © 2018 by Steven R. Perkins