“. . . they supposed it was a ghost and cried out;” Mark 6:49
Beware, Jesus is not who you think He is. The disciples mistook Him for something other than who He was. When they saw the figure of Jesus moving toward them, they fell into panic and fear, shrieking out in complete terror.
The disciples now troubled and terrified at the sight of Jesus, when only a few moments earlier they had been wishing He was with them. They were so certain that if Jesus were in the boat with them they could smile at the storm, and when He did come to them, they cried out in fear of Him.
They were scared out of their wits. What caused their reaction was that He didn’t fit into their perception of Him; He appeared in a form they had not expected. The twelve are not the only ones guilty of such a response, many of us do the same every day.
There are thousands today who are afraid of Jesus, and will have nothing to do with Him, because they don’t have a true view of Him. They see Him only through personal prejudice and preconceived perceptions.
Jesus’ own expectation was that if He were lifted up, He would draw all people to Him. Many are not drawn to Christ because He has not been lifted up before their eyes. They’ve seen Him through distorted visions and false representations, but never have they seen the beauty that they should desire Him.
Some have had their view of Jesus shaped by what His followers have told them. Often, the way believers speak of Him is so distorted and false, Jesus becomes a caricature. There is nothing present in their words which inspires allegiance or wins their heart, they don’t see His unselfishness, or the beauty of His sacrifice on the cross, and He is rejected because He’s misunderstood.
The disciples feared because of what they thought they saw, but when Jesus spoke, they realized it was Jesus himself and welcomed Him willingly and gladly into the boat. He would’ve passed by, had they not recognized Him. Jesus waits to be seen and invited into our storm.
Could it be that like the disciples the very thing we are afraid of is God coming to us in another form? We miss the answer to our struggles because He is not what we expected or who we expected Him to be.