if need be
“For they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them.”
The disciples on the boat have cut themselves off from the opportunity to see the revelation of Jesus Christ, due to the hardening of their hearts towards Jesus at the feeding of five thousand, and they have not received the grace that comes with it through faith. Consequently they end up journeying on their own and by their own strength.
I’m going to paint a picture now for you, not with paint and a brush, but with words.
Jesus is up on the mountain in fellowship with the father, praying. The disciples are in the boat going farther and farther away from Jesus. The wind and waves come suddenly and seem to be getting stronger and stronger. With every minute the disciples are losing strength to row against them. It’s dark and lonely.
I wonder if, in their minds, they’re secretly thinking of giving up? Could this be you, and where you are today?
When Jesus is walking towards them they think it’s a ghost. They can’t recognize Him any more, they don’t know Him. In the hardening of their hearts they have departed from the living God. Because He is the living God, only He can be the source of life. We must understand this and take it deeply into our hearts: that nothing is detachable from Him. When we depart from the living God, we will spiritually die. (Hebrews 3 12-13)
That contrast between Jesus walking on the waves and against the wind, and the disciples straining at rowing is as strong and powerful as the contrast between life and death. They departed so far from Jesus that in their hardened hearts Jesus changed. He became someone else to them. This wonderful saviour, this perfect Son of God whom they loved and had left everything for, became a ghost, a stranger of whom they were afraid
I’m wondering as they were on that boat in their dark hour whether they remembered and talked about the time when they were with Him in the boat before. How much of their past journeying and life looked different when they were with Him. That was just a wonderful memory now, and the present reality was so different for them.
My dear friend, is this you? We can meet together as believers, talk about how Jesus is wonderful, how powerful He worked in the Bible and how He is working in other people’s lives. But what about you and now? The way we live will perfectly mirror whether we are with God or departing from Him.
“for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them.” Mark 6:50
How good and merciful Jesus is. He would pass them by, they could walk as He walked, but they didn’t. So he comes and finds them where they are and immediately He speaks.
He comes to you now my friend and He is speaking to your hardened heart. Although you have departed from the living God and have a name that you are alive but have become dead, He never abandons you. His kindness and patience brings you to repentance. He is softening your heart as He did theirs.
“Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.” John 6:21
Their hearts had been healed because they had received Him willingly, and immediately they were where they should be.
Repent from hardening your heart towards Jesus and receive Him willingly in surrendering your will to Him, and immediately He will restore you and bring you into His will.