A Storm on the Sea
August 25 - Nº 237 Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25
Jesus had taught all day, and he was exhausted. As the sun began to set, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go to the other side of the lake.” The “lake” Jesus was referring to was the Sea of Galilee. It was a large, oval-shaped basin about 14 miles long and seven miles wide. It was surrounded by steep, rugged mountains. When a storm blew in, the winds whistled through the mountain passes and whipped the sea into a frenzy. Because it was enclosed by the mountains, it resembled a large bathtub. The water would rebound back and forth from shore to shore. In just a short time, what had been a tranquil lake could become a fisherman’s worst nightmare. When Jesus left the crowds that evening and got into the boat with his disciples, the water was calm. A few other boats joined them on their excursion. These boats were probably large fishing vessels about 27 feet long and eight feet wide with sails. Jesus wanted to go to the other side of the lake—the eastern side where the Gentiles lived. Normally, Jewish fishermen avoided that side of the lake, but the disciples obediently set sail. Jesus headed to the back of the boat. He was exhausted, so he lay on a cushion and fell fast asleep. While the disciples were navigating across the lake, a huge storm blew in over the mountains. The waves grew larger and higher until they broke over the sides of the boat and began to fill it with water. The storm was so violent that the disciples, many of whom had spent their lives sailing these waters, realized their lives were in danger. But Jesus slept through it all! The disciples began to panic. They shook Jesus and shouted, “Teacher, wake up. Don’t you care that we are about to die?” Jesus stood up and faced the storm. With a stern voice he spoke to the wind and the raging water. “Quiet! Be still!” he commanded. Immediately the wind died down and the water became completely calm! Then Jesus looked right at his disciples and asked, “Why are you so afraid? After all that you have seen and heard, do you still have no faith?” Caught in the midst of the storm, they had forgotten who was with them. They had put their faith in themselves rather than the One they knew was the Messiah! Instead of turning to him, they had relied on their own strength until it was gone. They should have come to him first. Suddenly, a new kind of fear gripped the disciples. The commanding authority Jesus had over nature was beyond comprehension. No one in history had ever done such a thing without consulting God and receiving power from Him. But Jesus had just demonstrated his own authority to command the wind and the waves to be still. . . and the powerful forces of nature obeyed!
For a long time, the disciples tried to navigate the storm on their own. It wasn’t until they had used up all their own knowledge, expertise, and power that they called on Jesus! God wants us to turn to Him long before we become desperate. He is there waiting for us to acknowledge that we need him. He never intended for us to make it through life on our own. Is there something you need to ask Him to help you with?