Jesus quickly assembled the apprentices and directed them to climb into a boat. He stayed behind to dismiss the crowd while the apprentices rowed toward Bethsaida on the other side of the lake. Meanwhile, once the crowd was gone, Jesus took the opportunity to slip away to spend time praying on a nearby mountain.
Evening came upon the boat in the middle of the lake. Jesus, however, was still alone on shore. From his vantage he could see that the apprentices were not making progress. They rowed and rowed, but the winds kept pushing them back.
Sometime after midnight Jesus walked across the lake in the direction of the boat. He was initially going to walk by them and beat them to the shore. But someone in the boat spotted him, sounded the alarm, and they all started screaming like six-year-old girls -- "It's a ghost!"
So Jesus called out to them -- "Relax! It's only me. Don't be afraid."
Then, as Jesus climbed into the boat with the terrified apprentices, the wind died down.
His half-converted followers were stupefied by everything that was happening. The fact is that they had pretty much missed the whole point of the previous day's bread multiplication miracle. It hadn't sunk in all the way to their hearts. So they were still living according to the limiting rule of fear.
THE COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE
Right then, Jesus made his disciples get into a boat and go ahead to the other side of the lake, toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After saying good-bye to them, Jesus went up onto a mountain to pray. 47 Evening came and the boat was in the middle of the lake, but he was alone on the land. 48 He saw his disciples struggling. They were trying to row forward, but the wind was blowing against them. Very early in the morning, he came to them, walking on the lake. He intended to pass by them. 49 When they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost and they screamed. 50 Seeing him was terrifying to all of them. Just then he spoke to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid.” 51 He got into the boat, and the wind settled down. His disciples were so baffled they were beside themselves. 52 That’s because they hadn’t understood about the loaves. Their hearts had been changed so that they resisted God’s ways.