But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. Matthew 14:26
The disciples felt they were in the presence of evil. After all, it was dark, the wind was howling, and the waves were beating against the boat. When the light of Jesus’ presence drew near, they thought they were seeing a ghost.
They were afraid that the night is ruled by dark and sinister forces, but Jesus rules the night as well as the day. He rules in the storm as well as in the calm.
Have you felt fear like this? Evil powers are unleashed, the world seems like a dark and hostile place. It is frightening, and you wonder, “Where is Jesus in all this?”
The Bible speaks openly about the reality of fear in the life of a believer. The disciples were terrified. These men were authentic disciples, but they were afraid. The presence of fear does not mean the absence of faith.
The faith of the disciples was tested when Jesus seemed far away. But Jesus had not abandoned His disciples to dark and evil powers. “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid’” (14:27).
The disciples thought that Jesus was far away from them, up on some mountain praying on His own. They thought that only evil was near. But Jesus is near to us even when we think He is not.
Are you afraid right now? Does it feel like Jesus is far away?