John 6:20: “But Jesus called out to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. You know who I am.’”

A ghost haunts a house because it has no place to go. Essentially, ghosts dwell in the past in lack of a better future. Why am I writing that? Good question. I’m not sure why, but I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about ghosts of the past. You know how it is – we all have good memories and bad. The bad ones we like to bury, the good ones we like to keep. Sometimes, a bad memory slips out of the grave and creeps back into our thought life. I believe the reason is almost always unfinished business.

Ever since my near death experience I feel like I have to hurry up to get everything done on my dream list, and I have quite a few dreams that I would like to see come true. I think there is nothing wrong about having a bucket list, however there is something wrong with thinking about death every time when a physical symptom of any kind pops up. That’s the ghost haunting me, and I believe I can let that go if I want to.

Jesus was mistaken for a ghost a couple of times.

One time He was walking on water in the middle of the night during a raging storm. Understandably, His disciples weren’t expecting Him. They were battling the storm in a tiny boat. Jesus was not on board; and as they were fighting to keep this boat afloat, they noticed a figure approaching them, stepping over the foaming waves like treading solid ground. Matthew, one of His disciples, wrote (Matthew 14:26):

When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.

Nobody expected Jesus, especially not walking on water in the middle of the night, and yet there He was!

The other time Jesus was mistaken for a ghost was right after His resurrection. Again, nobody expected Him walking around. He got killed publicly three days before, so seeing Jesus waltzing in where His friends were assembled was probably similar to seeing a ghost; or a walking dead; something like that! Jesus has a refreshing approach regarding ghosts. Here is what He says (Luke 24:29):

“Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

Jesus is definitely not a ghost, so that is the good news! The bad news is, ghosts may not be physically present, but they can scare us nonetheless. Jesus is obviously unafraid of the terrors of the night. He experienced death and resurrection; in fact, He is the Resurrection and Life. That’s something solid to hold onto when it comes to our unresolved fears.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus wants us to be free from fear. A fear-driven life is no life at all. A love-driven life however has the power to wake up the dead. There is no fear in love. Jesus is our prime example. Let Him deal with our ghosts so we can live!

“When my hopes and dreams are far from me
And I’m running out of faith
I see the future I picture slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache
Are pouring down my face
I find my peace in Jesus’ name” Ryan Stevenson

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