It may be surprising to learn that many people believe that God is harsh, even vindictive toward His children. But looking to the example of Christ Jesus we see that he was showing us the God who is also divine Love itself. He showed that God, Love, heals and protects — God doesn’t bring vengeance on His children, nor does God inflict sickness or cause His children to sin. I think this is especially relevant to thinking about when Jesus told his Disciples, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid. (Mark 6:50 / NKJV)!”
During his brief career Jesus showed us a God who heals every ill and causes man to be better, feel better, and do better. When his students were on the sea struggling to get to shore in a storm, Jesus came to them by walking on the water. They didn’t recognize him at first, but thought he was a spirit. It’s plausible the reason they were at first afraid was because they thought that anything that’s miraculous was actually at the same time dangerous. Obviously it would be mind blowing to see a person walking on water, so it’s also very understandable that they would have found that confusing as well.
In any case, Jesus corrected their thinking and reassured them by first telling them to to “Be of good cheer!”. Thinking on this the other day I realized that was really cool thing for Jesus to say. And then to follow it up with “It is I; do not be afraid” is very powerful. Obviously the two statements go hand in hand, but why did he say something that is almost the same thing, twice?
Jesus was directing them to look beyond what was immediately apparent:
- He pointed out to them that miracles, healing, or anything extraordinary should not be feared — rather it should stir them/us to feel cheer and hope.
- Seeing amazing things should help us realize anything is possible with God.
- Fear has no part in the healing activity of the Christ, or in the practice of being God-like.
- Handling fear through the realization that God is all-power brings healing — resulting in improved health and morals.
I’ll admit that when reading this story (Mark 6:48-50) about Jesus and his disciples, the first thing I’m most awed by is that Jesus is walking on the water! However, I recently realized the walking on the water is only part of the lesson. The biggest point, and most poignant, is that no matter what we face — Christians need to face down fear through the power of God by utilizing prayer. And what goes in hand with that fact is that Jesus’ works, however mind-blowing, are never a cause for fear, doubt, or disbelief. Rather, everything Jesus did, he did for us — telling us that doing works like these are possible for each of us — here and now, and forever!
He enters into a diviner sense of the facts, and comprehends the theology of Jesus as demonstrated in healing the sick, raising the dead, and walking over the wave.
—Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 369
Jesus taught us to walk over, not into or with, the currents of matter, or mortal mind. His teachings beard the lions in their dens. He turned the water into wine, he commanded the winds, he healed the sick, — all in direct opposition to human philosophy and so-called natural science.
—Mary Baker Eddy, Unity of Good, p. 11