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When Jesus Speaks

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Words, whether positive or negative, can either inspire or depress us. But we also have the power to receive or reject those words. Our response will bring us peace or despair.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words. (Proverbs 18:21 AMP)

Let’s look at Mark 6:47-52:

Now when evening had come, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and Jesus was alone on the land. Seeing the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night (3:00-6:00 a.m.) He came to them, walking on the sea. And [acted as if] He intended to pass by them. But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost, and cried out [in horror]; for they all saw Him and were shaken and terrified. But He immediately spoke with them and said, “Take courage! It is I (I Am)! Stop being afraid.” Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased [as if exhausted by its own activity]; and they were completely overwhelmed, because they had not understood [the miracle of] the loaves [how it revealed the power and deity of Jesus]; but [in fact] their heart was hardened [being oblivious and indifferent to His amazing works].

We can only imagine how the disciples felt when they were out in the middle of that dark sea on that tossed-about boat, in the wee hours of the morning before sunrise. Most likely, no other boat was around. The light from the moon and stars was probably nonexistent. And Jesus was not with them. He had sent them out alone, promising to catch up with them later. The wind was so strong, they couldn’t even row back to shore. 

What’s really interesting about this story is that although the storm must’ve scared the disciples, it was the figure on the water that literally terrified them. They were afraid of Jesus! To give them credit, they did not know it was Him. They thought they were seeing a ghost. 

But look at what Jesus did: First, He saw that they needed help, and it seems He then made a way to get to them as fast as possible—which happened to be by walking on the water. Next, however, He acted as if He was going to pass them by. That happened right before the disciples cried out in terror. Where was Jesus going? Maybe He had intended to speak to the waves and calm them in that moment. Instead, after hearing His friends’ gut-wrenching cries, He immediately spoke with them and said, “Take courage! It is I (I Am)! Stop being afraid.” (v. 50) He spoke to them before calming the storm. And it was after speaking to them that He climbed into the boat and the winds died down. 

This is a beautiful illustration of one of the many ways Jesus never leaves us. When storms hit, believe that He sees you and that He will climb into the middle of your circumstances with you until the storm has subsided. “Take courage,” He says, “and stop being afraid.” When Jesus speaks, listen—because His words bear the fruit of life.

Father God, we thank You for Jesus. You bring us peace in the middle of life’s storms, and You command us to not shrink back in terror. We know You will never allow us to go through the storms of life alone. You build our inner strength, establish our faith, and help us to persevere. Thank You that You love us so much that You stay with us and guide us through to victory.


Scripture is quoted from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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About The Author

Sandra Holcombe

Sandra Holcombe writes, copyedits, and proofreads for CBN’s Direct Marketing team. She holds an MFA in script and screenwriting from Regent University, a BA in English and theatre from Old Dominion, and is an alumnus of Act One: Writing for Hollywood. She’s also a professional voiceover artist who originated the role of young Gizmo in CBN’s GizmoGO! animation series. Along with acting in CBN's Spunky and Storyteller Café shows, she's voiced thousands of commercials in the U.S. and abroad, and currently voices projects for CBN International. Before heaven, she wants to give readers hope through

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