(Matthew 8.23-27; Mark 4.35-41)
22One day, Jesus and his disciples got into a boat, and he said, “Let's cross the lake.” They started out, 23and while they were sailing across, he went to sleep.
Suddenly a storm struck the lake, and the boat started sinking. They were in danger. 24So they went to Jesus and woke him up, “Master, Master! We are about to drown!”
Jesus got up and ordered the wind and waves to stop. They obeyed, and everything was calm. 25Then Jesus asked the disciples, “Don't you have any faith?”
But they were frightened and amazed. They said to each other, “Who is this? He can give orders to the wind and the waves, and they obey him!”
As the disciples wrestled with the question, “Who is Jesus?” it was a slow learning process. They had already seen him heal a Roman centurion’s servant and raise a widow’s son from the dead. They ate with him, walked with him, talked with him. But did they really KNOW Him?
That day’s “lesson” began with a simple request from Jesus: “Let’s cross the lake” (v 22). It was smooth sailing at first. So much so that Jesus took a nap. And then the storm hit.
The Sea of Galilee is susceptible to dynamic weather, lying in a valley surrounded by high hills. Some of the disciples were seasoned fishermen who were no strangers to the squalls that can rise suddenly and whip the waters into a frenzy. But this storm was so violent that they were terrified, convinced that they were in imminent danger of drowning. As they awakened Jesus with their shouts I’m not sure what they thought he might be able to do to save them. But we do know they weren’t prepared for what he did do!
After Jesus calmed the storm and the sea by simply commanding them to be still, the disciples were both terrified and amazed. With wide eyes darting from one to the other they asked among themselves, “Who is this? He can give orders to the wind and the waves, and they obey him!” (v 25) It is a question any serious seeker of the truth still contemplates today.
When we accept Jesus’ simple invitation to walk with him we don’t know what lies ahead. But we can face the future with confidence knowing that he is more than equal to any challenge that comes our way, whether an outward circumstance or a storm within.
Lord of Creation, whose power knows no bounds, speak peace into the storms that blow across my life, and I will worship you in awe and reverence. In your powerful name I pray. Amen.