Last year in Bible study, we covered a similar miracle account in the gospel of Luke, the one where Jesus is with the disciples on the boat but sleeps through the storm until awakened by the terrified disciples and then calms the storm. My co-facilitator explained the miracle as how being with Jesus made it seem as if the storm had ceased (he is a scientist by profession). I was a trifle incensed at the suggestion that Jesus had not actually stopped the storm. However, I don’t know when, if ever, I would have drawn the conclusion that Jesus can bring us peace in the midst of turmoil if we trust in him. I suppose that is the limitation of being too literal.
This is a different miracle, or a different account of the same miracle, who knows?
But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”
The Israelites are told repeatedly in the Pentateuch not to be afraid to go in and take the Promised Land from its current inhabitants. Several verses in the book of Joshua are so beautiful to me. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. Jesus walks on the water to reach them in their boat, he comes to them in their distress.
Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.
I don’t know much about this verse, but it certainly sounds as if the disciples’ desire to take Jesus with them caused them to immediately reach their destination. That says to me that we’ll get where we’re going if we have similar hearts.