What does John 6:20 mean?
ESV: But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."
NIV: But he said to them, "It is I; don’t be afraid."
NASB: But He *said to them, 'It is I; do not be afraid.'
CSB: But he said to them, "It is I. Don’t be afraid."
NLT: but he called out to them, 'Don’t be afraid. I am here! '
KJV: But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.
NKJV: But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”
Verse Commentary:
The disciples followed Jesus' instructions to cross the Sea of Galilee. This obedience landed them right in the middle of the lake during a rough burst of wind. As should we all, the disciples are learning that following the will of God does not make us immune from hard times. Sometimes, in fact, it leads us right into stormy seas. In this case, Jesus has sent the men away from the crowds to avoid entangling them in political unrest (John 6:15), and so they don't confuse the spiritual meaning of His miracle with the crowd's reaction. At this point, the men don't yet grasp the importance of what Jesus did in feeding the crowd (Mark 6:52).

This is not a hurricane, nor a typhoon, but the storm certainly makes getting across the water much harder and more dangerous. But Jesus has been watching, and decides to come out to assist them (Mark 6:48). In the midst of that, the disciples see something which actually did frighten them: a human figure walking on top of the waves. As it turns out, this is Jesus—who needs to call out to the men to reassure them not to be afraid.

This is the fifth of seven miracles used in John's gospel to support the claim that Jesus is, in fact, God.

Matthew and Mark provide more details about this incident in their respective Gospels (Mark 6:45–52; Matthew 14:22–30). Among these elements is the fact that Peter attempted to walk out on the water towards Jesus, and briefly succeeded.
Verse Context:
John 6:16–21 contains the fifth of John's seven miraculous ''signs'' proving that Jesus Christ is God: Christ walking on the water. This passage also describes a ''hidden'' miracle, not part of the main seven, involving the disciples and their boat. This incident is important for what it teaches about difficulty and suffering. The disciples found themselves in rough seas, after Jesus told them specifically to sail across the Sea of Galilee. Their hard time was not the result of disobedience; rather, their hard time came because they obeyed. Not all struggles are punishments, and not all storms come due to rebellion. At times, obedience to God means heading into a storm.
Chapter Summary:
In chapter 6, Jesus feeds thousands of people who had been following Him. He does this by miraculously dividing the contents of a small lunch, leaving more left over than He had to begin with. At first, the crowd is amazed and they enthusiastically praise Jesus. After sending the disciples across the Sea of Galilee, and rescuing them from a storm by walking on the water, Jesus once again addresses the crowd. This time, He emphasizes the spiritual lesson behind His prior miracle. In response, most of those who had been praising Jesus turn away from Him in disappointment.
Chapter Context:
John chapter 6 occurs some months after the events of chapter 5, bringing the narrative to about one year prior to Jesus' crucifixion. As with the rest of the Gospel of John, the purpose is not to repeat information from the other three Gospels, but to focus on Jesus' status as God incarnate. This chapter continues to expand the list of Jesus' miraculous signs and the witnesses to His divine nature. Here, Jesus also gives the first of seven ''I AM'' statements found in this Gospel. Chapter 7 will once again skip ahead to a major public step in Jesus' path to the cross.
Book Summary:
The disciple John wrote the gospel of John decades after the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls "signs"— to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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