“And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves, but he was asleep. And they went and woke him saying, ‘Save us, Lord, we are perishing.’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?’ Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, ‘What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey him?’ “
Matt. 8:23-27 (ESV)
This is such an interesting passage of Scripture to me. This passage was part of our Bible Reading Plan for this past week, and it always strikes me that Jesus was asleep in the boat while the storm was going on. I’ve been on a boat on Lake Erie with moderately rough water, (1-3 foot waves, maybe some 4 footers), and the farthest thing from my mind was sleep. Jesus, who by the way, created the lake He was on, had no fear of dying in this manner, because He knew who was in control of the storm.
I have to believe that the storm happened as it did purely for the purpose of teaching these disciples this incredible lesson about who He was, and what power He did possess. This was fairly early in their time with Him, and while He had performed several miracles prior to this, those were all pretty much dealing with one or two individuals at a time. With this, He literally spoke to the wind and waves, and they obeyed Him! No human had ever possessed that kind of authority before. This was not just unusual but unheard of.
Their question tells the lesson of the story. They learned what sort of man this Jesus was. He has authority over everything. The word coming from His mouth carried with it the power to make it so and yet that power was more often in reserve. He didn’t just go around telling the wind which way to blow and how hard, at least not audibly, but He could if He needed to.
I find His response to them interesting as well. “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” What do you mean, “why are you afraid?” This lake was known for this kind of storms. Such a storm could quickly stir up, and cause even seasoned fishermen to be concerned. His question goes deeper though than just the storm. Perhaps He was asking, “If you believe that I am the Son of God, don’t you think God would take better care of me than allowing me to be killed in a storm, and you with me?”
So, what kind of storms are you facing? Are the winds of life beating hard against your boat, nearly ready to swamp it? Does all that you see around you look as though you are going to be swallowed by your situation? Take heart friend, and know that the One who stilled that storm is still in control of all of life’s storms, and they are there to teach us about the One who holds authority over them. Take heart, and know that whether or not He calms your storm, He is with you in the midst of the storm, and will not let you be swamped by it, only call on Him, cry out to Him to help you get to the other side.
Allow Him to build your faith as you look back across His faithfulness, not only to you but to so many others who have depended on Him. Look to the pages of Scripture that are filled with His faithfulness, His power over situations and circumstances that seemed unsurmountable. Because He is sovereign, or possesses power and authority over all things, there is nothing that is beyond His control. Trust Him. He is supremely able.
By His Grace Alone,
Pastor Bruce Jacobsen