Jesus walks on waterThree key Greek words connect portions of the bible for us to deepen our appreciation of  Jesus’ dealing with the disciples – tharseo “take heart”, epilambanomai “to catch, grasp”, and anabaino, “to go up”.

The verb, tharseo, speaks of Jesus’ basic attitude toward the disciples who quail in fear of losing their own kingdoms – forgiveness of sins, healing faith, and trust in God’s saving deeds. 

Matthew 14:27            But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Matthew 9:2f             And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.”

Matthew 9:21f             for she said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.

Exodus 14:13             But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again.


Epilambanomai shades Jesus’ attitude toward ‘catching’ Israel by the hand both at the Exodus and at the Exile.

Matthew 14:31             Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Proverbs 4:13             Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.

Jeremiah 31:32f             It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord.  But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.


Finally, anabaino implies the presence of God as everywhere! and describes the boat as a place of teaching and being taught.

Matthew 14:32              When they got into/ascended into the boat, the wind ceased.

Psalm 139:7f              Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.

Micah 4:1f              In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall stream to it,  and many nations shall come and say: “Come, let us go up/ascend to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Question is… can we be taught ‘in the midst of our storms’?

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