Rowing in the Dark

By Justin Rossow

In Mark 6, just after the feeding of the 5,000 Jesus sends the disciples off in a boat and goes into the hills to pray by himself. In the middle of the night—3:00 AM!—Jesus sees they are struggling, rowing against the wind.

Mark’s Jesus is this bizarre phenomenon let loose on the earth, so he takes a stroll on the water and intends to just pass these guys by. I imagine, Jesus be like, “On your left…”

The disciples are terrified.

Jesus IMMEDIATELY is right there at the boat, and he says to them:

Take courage! (Or, be of good cheer!)
I Am! (Or, it is I! Or, I am here!)
Stop being afraid! (Or, Fear not!)

The wind stops. The disciples still don’t understand the miracle of the loaves, and their hearts (i.e. whole person) are still closed and hard. And Jesus is still with them.

Sometimes I feel like I am rowing against the wind in the dark. Sometimes I feel like I just don’t understand what Jesus is up to. I even wonder if sometimes parts (or all) of my person and personality become closed to Jesus, just like those first disciples.

If you can relate to that feeling, Mark wants to let you and me both in on a secret: Jesus sees you there, rowing in the dark. Jesus not only walks on the waves, he gets in the boat with you.

Jesus, the Great I AM in the flesh, says to you:

Take courage!
I’m here!
You can stop being afraid.

Leave a Reply