Matthew 14:27

ESV But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
NIV But Jesus immediately said to them: 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.'
NASB But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.'
CSB Immediately Jesus spoke to them. "Have courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
NLT But Jesus spoke to them at once. 'Don’t be afraid,' he said. 'Take courage. I am here! '
KJV But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

What does Matthew 14:27 mean?

The disciples are exhausted and terrified. They have been rowing on rough seas against a strong wind for hours (Matthew 14:22). It is between 3 and 6 a.m., they are a few miles from land, and have just noticed a figure walking toward them on the water. They cry out in fear, and someone says that the figure is a ghost. Considering their situation, that's not an unexpected reaction, and it was probably a terrifying sight, at first.

As it turns out, the figure is Jesus. He has walked from the place they left Him behind earlier in the evening to catch up with them in the boat. As He approaches, He reassures them. He wants them to take heart and not be afraid. This miracle must be the most surprising and unexpected thing they have seen Jesus do up to this point. Peter's reaction to seeing Jesus do this is almost equally as surprising (Matthew 14:28–29).
What is the Gospel?
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