The Good Shepherd
“And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid’" (Mark 6:49-50).
Can you picture a boat of grown men, many of whom grew up making their living from the sea, terrified thinking they saw a ghost? Apparently ghost stories have been around a lot longer than we may have thought. The good news for the apostles was that the ghost was Jesus, their Lord and Savior. The apostles had just witnessed Jesus’ miracle of feeding 5000 men (probably around 20,000 people total including women and children) with a meager five loaves of bread and two small fish. However, walking on water was probably a new one on them.
One acrostic for the word FEAR is Forget Everything And Run. I suspect if the apostles had not been on water many of them would have run when they saw what they thought was a ghost. What did it take to calm their fears? A few simple words from the Master. You see, they recognized His voice and Jesus said we can too. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27 NIV).
So how does one recognize the Shepherd’s voice? A shepherd is with his flock day and night, so the sheep can differentiate the voice of their shepherd from anyone else. If you spend quality time with the Good Shepherd, you will recognize His voice too.
For the Gentiles, the Lord gave us assurance that we too are His sheep. “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to My voice, and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd” (John 10:16 NIV). You can hear His voice; you just need to train your ears to hear Him.
David, who was a good shepherd in his own right, said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want…I will fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:1,4 NIV). The Good Shepherd is your shepherd; just listen for His calming voice and fear no evil.
Prayer: Jesus, I pray You will calibrate my spirit to discern Your voice from all others. I want to walk in obedience to Your voice, but I must know the difference between Your voice and that of the enemy. Help me to be still and know that You are God. In Jesus name, Amen.