Blake Allen, Student and Outreach Minister, LHBC
23 When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And behold, a violent storm developed on the sea, so that the boat was being covered by the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. 25 And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” 26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. 27 The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
Have you ever felt like Jesus was sleeping on you during a hard time in life? Have you ever felt like God was silent when you were struggling? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In Matthew 8, Jesus’ disciples were facing a storm–like a literal one. They were scared. They felt alone in their struggle. They thought they would be overtaken by their current circumstance. They felt like they were going to die. And on top of all that, the miracle man they had been following was sleeping while they were about to be overtaken by the storm.
What’s more surprising is Jesus’ response to the disciples. After waking Jesus up with their concerns, Jesus poses this question: Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Now I don’t know about you but this is not a response I would want to hear in the midst of my storm. Initially, it seems harsh. But there are 3 truths Jesus wanted His disciples to know in this situation.
- Jesus is aware of your storm
Following Jesus does not mean we will not experience difficulties in this life. In fact, Jesus promises there will be storms. But the difference maker is Jesus is in the boat with us. In our storms, he makes his presence known. In our storms, he provides us peace and comfort. In our storms, when we turn to him, he shows his authority and power over the circumstance. We are never alone in our battles. God knew what we would face even before we would face it. While it may seem like Jesus is silent, He is actually ready to do a work in your life.
- You must have faith in the storm
The disciples’ problem wasn’t that they had forgotten Jesus’ power. Some commentators argue the disciples had forgotten the miracles that Jesus had already done. But I don’t think that is the case. Why would the disciples ask Jesus to save them from a violent storm if they had forgotten the miracles He had already worked? The disciples did not have a lack of faith in Jesus’ ability. The problem was they failed to recognize his sovereignty and authority.
Jesus was using this situation to build the disciples faith and trust in Him as God. He wasn’t just a mere man that calmed the storm as the disciples thought. He was fully man and fully God. Jesus was demonstrating his authority over all things including the raging sea. The whole point of this story is about His power and authority. Jesus is God!
Jesus is calling us to greater faith. This story is a picture of the Gospel. He did come to save us. He did come to rescue us. We were perishing and needed divine intervention. But he came to rescue us, not from every battle we encounter, but from hell itself. Jesus does answer their requests; he does care about our concerns. He demonstrates that by answering their request, but he also says they have little faith. Jesus wants us to have faith in Him, not just His ability. If the only time you run to Jesus is when you encounter a problem, then you view God as no more than your personal genie. Faith is a recognition of Jesus’ sovereignty, not merely his ability or what He can do for us.
- Jesus is greater than the storm
I don’t know what you are facing but Jesus is greater than your storm. Do you believe Jesus has power and authority over all creation? Do you believe that He is God? Do you worship Him out of conviction or when it is convenient? Do you seek Him in the silence as much as you do in the raging sea moments in your life? He is calling us to greater belief. We will face difficulty in life. God allows us to face these challenges sometimes. But He reminds us that He is with us through it all. He is in the boat with us. He is still in control. He will not leave us or forsake us. He comforts us and brings us peace in the midst of it all. And He will see you through your battle. Nothing you face is a surprise to God. Nothing you face is too big for God to handle. Jesus is greater than your storm as God over the storm.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, today, give us the faith we need to trust you in our storms. Your power and authority has been made known to all creation. For you alone are Lord. You alone have the power to calm the seas. You alone are in authority. You alone are God. And may we worship you as God in all seasons of life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”