Jesus wields such great power that those who observed it were at times filled with great fear. On the occasion when Jesus asked the disciples to take him across the lake in their ship, they encountered a storm which began to overcome the ship with its waves. Meanwhile, Jesus slept in the stern of the ship. When the disciples awoke him, he rebuked the wind and quieted the waves of the sea so that it became calm. Turning to the disciples, he questioned why they had been timid and asked where their faith was. However, what caused the disciples great fear was not Jesus’ correction, but his power over the wind and the sea (Mark 4:41). Even when the apostle John encountered Jesus in Revelation decades later, he fainted at Jesus’ feet like a dead man, because he was overcome at the power of Jesus’ presence. At that time, Jesus told him to stop being afraid (Revelation 1:17).
Although we encounter Jesus as our savior and friend, his powerful presence can be overwhelming, because we have never met anyone who carries such unheard of power just by speaking. Men create powerful weapons and machines, but Jesus has no need for weapons or machines, he merely speaks or walks into a room. Even though our natural reaction may be fear when we see such power, Jesus doesn’t not desire for us to be afraid. When Jesus would see his followers afraid, he would instruct them to stop being afraid, as he did with John in Revelation 1. Human leaders often use fear and intimidation to lead others, because in the short term it is effective in getting results, but is counter-productive in developing relationships. Jesus doesn’t use fear to lead us, rather he inspires us with his power, but also with his compassionate love for us, because Jesus is first and foremost concerned about our relationship with him. Then, out of relationship with Jesus, the best results naturally occur.