Do not be afraid! (Jn 6:20-6:20)

“But Jesus

Said to them.

‘It is I!

Do not be afraid!’”

ὁ δὲ λέγει αὐτοῖς Ἐγώ εἰμι, μὴ φοβεῖσθε.

John indicated that Jesus said to them (ὁ δὲ λέγει αὐτοῖς) that it was him, “I am” (Ἐγώ εἰμι), using the first person singular and the divine phrase “I am (Ἐγώ εἰμι).”  They should not be afraid (μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  Both Mark and Matthew had a more elaborate response, but basically using almost the same words.  Mark, chapter 6:50, said that Jesus immediately spoke to them to reassure them (ὁ δὲ εὐθὺς ἐλάλησεν μετ’ αὐτῶν).  He told them to have courage and take heart (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Θαρσεῖτε).  He said that he was not a ghost, but Jesus himself (ἐγώ εἰμι), so that they did not have to be afraid.  They had nothing to fear (μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  Matthew, chapter 14:26, indicated that Jesus immediately reassured them (εὐθὺς δὲ ἐλάλησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς αὐτοῖς).  He told them to have courage and take heart (λέγων Θαρσεῖτε).  He said that he was not a ghost but Jesus himself (ἐγώ εἰμι), so that they did not have to be afraid.  They had nothing to fear (μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  Jesus reassured his disciples, while he walked on the sea waters.  This idea of telling people not to be afraid was common to the angels who revealed divine messages to humans.  Once again, the disciples seemed weak or not understanding what was going on.  The use of “I am” or ἐγώ εἰμι is exactly what Yahweh said to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus chapter 3:14.  Are you afraid of Jesus?

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