We desperately need peace in our busy world. The peace that we seek can only be found in Christ. Spiritual peace is the most substantial and fulfilling blessing we can obtain.
In Mark 6:45-52, we find the apostles getting into a boat and sailing to Bethsaida. Jesus remained on the shore to pray and rest.
Between three and six the next morning, these experienced sailors find themselves in a vicious storm that threatens their lives. Three to four miles into the Sea of Galilee, they are “straining at rowing, for the wind was against them” (Mark 6:48, NKJV). The word “straining” means “torment.”/1
Jesus comes in the darkest part of the night to exhausted men whose nerves are frayed to the breaking point. In fear for their lives, they look up and think they see a ghost walking on the water. Jesus responds to their cries of fear by saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid” (6:50). When he steps into the boat, the storm ceases.
The text says that Jesus would have passed them by. Why would he have given that impression? My guess is that Jesus wanted them to recognize him and invite him into the boat. Jesus wants us to come to him, rather than him pursuing us (Matthew 11:28; Revelation 3:20; cf. John 6:66-68).
Jesus did not want them to be frightened. He does not want his disciples to live in fear. In John 14:1, he says, “Let not your heart be troubled.” He was telling the apostles of his impending death. Jesus was literally saying, “Stop letting your heart be troubled.” Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” He wants us to be in peace. Whether we will seek that peace is completely within our control.
Jesus gives us peace in the following areas.
First, Jesus brings us peace with God. In Isaiah 59:2 we read, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” Yet, God has an answer to this terrible problem.
Romans 5:6 says, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Three verses later, Paul writes, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (5:9). We can now be at peace with God through Jesus.
Second, Jesus brings us peace with men. God’s word shows us how we can have good relationships in this life. Admittedly, we will not be able to get along with everyone. Romans 12:18 says, “If at all possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” It will not be possible, therefore, to get along with everyone. But we will have happier families and marriages because we are following the advice of Scripture.
Third, Jesus brings us peace with ourselves. Romans 13:9 says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This is a foundation commandment of God (Mark 12:31). Before we can love others, we must first love ourselves. Yet so many find themselves miserable over their guilt, shortcomings, and mistakes.
We hold grudges against others and punish ourselves constantly. Jesus lifts us up out of the bed of misery and exalts us as worthy of being made “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:26).
Turn to Jesus, the source of peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
1/ Marvin Vincent, Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament, 1:196.