Have you ever thought what it might have been like to follow Jesus throughout Galilee and on his journey to Jerusalem?
The disciples left normal jobs and had the experience of their lives.
— I doubt if they ever got tired of seeing the blind see, the lame walk, and the dead raised to life.
— I’m sure the presence of demonized people was startling, but so was the way they were set free from demonic oppression.
— Jesus was the most fascinating teacher to ever walk the face of the earth. They had occasion to listen to him teach, plus visit with him while walking from place to place.
— There were times when Jesus’ followers experienced fear. Today’s Bible passage chronicles one of those occasions.
On the Lake with Jesus
Fishermen were accustomed to sudden and violent storms on the Lake of Galilee. They knew of instances when these sudden storms took the lives of villagers in the area.
Luke tells the story of such a storm on the lake.
— Luke 8.22-23 – One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they put out,
And while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger.
Let’s think about what was at risk in the storm.
— Several of the disciples were fishermen. They were aware that their very lives were in danger.
— Jesus was a minister of extraordinary abilities. At this point in the journey, they probably didn’t see him as the Messiah, but they knew he was special.
If Jesus were to die in the storm, great harm would come to God’s agenda through him.
In the middle of the storm, the disciples found Jesus sleeping and awakened him with shouts of alarm.
— Luke 8.24 – They went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm.
The disciples received an immediate answer to their impassioned pleas. There are times, however, when Jesus seems to remain sleeping while we shout our fears, worries, and troubles to him.
One of my favorite seminary professors had a disabled daughter. Her care was so expensive that he had to work a second job to pay for services.
I remember a chapel service when he asked a question. First, he read a passage from Matthew.
“For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17.21).
He asked, “What happens when you say to the mountain, ‘Move,’ but it doesn’t go anywhere?”
His response was, “You dig. If you dig, you will find gold.”
I am sure Dr. Schwartz and his wife would have been overjoyed to see the “mountain” of their daughter’s disability removed. When their daughter was not healed, they found the “gold” that only God could give them.
No matter what happens, we can be confident that Jesus isn’t sleeping, neither is he unconcerned.
He is actively working his purposes for us, even though they may be as mysterious as a sleeping Savior in a storm
A Question of Faith
When I imagine myself in the boat with the disciples, I can feel their fear. I also can sense their amazement at Jesus’ command over the elements.
Jesus’ response to his close followers was startling.
— Luke 8.25 – He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?”
When Jesus asked them about their faith, I believe he was calling attention to his mission and their part in it.
— God had an agenda for Jesus and his followers. Jesus could sleep through the storm, because he knew God was not going to let wind and waves hinder his purposes.
— The disciples were destined to experience many “storms” as they cooperated with God in his redemption of the world.
They needed to trust God’s power and ability to accomplish his agenda through them. This experience with Jesus and many more like it built their faith and courage.
One man said that the safest place for anyone is to be in the center of God’s will.
— Jesus revealed the presence of the kingdom of God through his actions.
As the King (Messiah is another word for king), he was in control of the kingdom. He healed, delivered from demons, raised the dead, and directed wind and waves.
We do well to remind ourselves that the kingdom of God is present in our day. The world may look chaotic, but the King of all kings is active in it.
As we align our lives with his purposes, we will see him in action accomplishing his agenda.
I began this article by saying that the disciples never had a dull day. If we follow Jesus, we will be like them.
Jesus will guide us to the most electrifying life possible.
Rudy Ross has several outstanding ideas for us in today’s YouTube video. It can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
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