It’s funny that the Disciples were afraid. They had been with Jesus for many months, and during that time, they had certainly seen Jesus perform miracles. Changing water into wine was just the beginning. In the presence of Jesus, lame people got up and walked! Deaf people were able to hear. Every single day, Jesus did things that amazed and befuddled these twelve men. Now, suddenly, Jesus walks on water and his friends are scared.
It’s funny how quickly we lose sight of Jesus’ true identity. Through the years, both artists and well-meaning preachers have over-emphasized the humanity of Jesus. He was a man, just like us. That’s true, of course. He WAS a man like us. But we mustn’t forget the other side of the coin – He was also God, unlike us. If Jesus’ opponents could have understood His true identity, they would never have argued with Him, much less laid a hand on Him. If His friends could have seen it, they would have fallen to the ground and worshipped Him. But Jesus kept His divinity hidden in human flesh, until every once in a while, He gave a glimpse of the “real Him.”
In John 6, the Disciples got such a glimpse, and it frightened them. It SHOULD have frightened them. There is a reason that the beginning of Wisdom is fear. Fear reminds us of who God is, and who we aren’t. We all need an occasional reminder that God is more than just a cosmic grandfather. He is GOD – the one who created us and is sovereign over us. Jesus is more than a guy in a meadow stroking a lamb. He is God is the flesh, and He will day be our judge. We must be careful to never lose our sense of awe and wonder in His presence.