Matthew 8:23-24 – Then [Jesus] got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. (NIV)
Many of Jesus' disciples had been professional fishermen before Jesus called them. As such, they knew the weather, boats, sea, and seasons. Not much fazed the tough, seasoned, veteran sailors until …
One long day, Jesus finished ministering to the needy masses. Now, dead on His feet, He needed a real rest. What would be better than sailing across the Sea of Galilee in cool breezes?
No disciple questioned this decision, even though as professional fishermen, they must have known about the afternoon wind shift. So, Jesus stepped into a single-masted, wooden fishing vessel built to hold crew plus catch. The vessel, likely Peter's own, would have been large enough to hold Jesus, eleven burly men, and young John.
Early in the crossing, Jesus might have stripped off His robe the way fishermen did. Resting His head on His rolled-up cloak, Jesus rested in cooling breezes flowing from surrounding cliffs. He fell fast asleep. Rest combined with sunshine refreshed. Perhaps while He slept, burly Peter took the rudder while Andrew and James unfurled the sails to catch the wind. Maybe John belayed the ropes.
Doubtless, Jesus' complete trust in His heavenly Father insured that nothing would interrupt His rest.
- Nothing woke the Lord,
no furious satanic wind
from the dizzying heights,
whipping evil green waters
to an ugly frenzy
of frothing whitecaps
Nothing fazed Jesus. In an all-hands-on-deck situation, exhausted Jesus slept soundly!
Not so the disciples. They battled the sudden storm with all their might. Peter wrestled the ship's rudder while other disciples furled the sail and bailed for all they were worth; a titanic effort to avoid plummeting to the bottom. Thwarted by waves over-washing the deck, hope plummeted into the depths of the sea where the storm threatened to send them all, ensuring that the Saviour of humanity would never see resurrection Sunday.
Satan and his minions rejoiced.
Scripture doesn't tell us who shook Jesus awake with the outburst, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" (v.25) Given this horrific situation, they knew that they'd lost the battle with the raging sea.
What is phenomenal is that they turned to Jesus, a carpenter turned rabbi, to save them! He wasn't a seasoned fisherman, yet, they woke Him to help. Did they expect Him to take a turn bailing?
Jesus said, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" (v.26) Then, instead of bailing, He opted for divine intervention.
When all seemed lost, Jesus "got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm." (v.26)
Jesus brought calm.
When we ask with minnow-sized faith, Jesus brings calm. He rebukes turmoil, restores peace of mind, and strengthens our hearts.
The same way the disciples were amazed, so are we. Just as they asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" (v.27) even so do we!
When we wonder how our mealy-mouthed requests could possibly matter, Jesus rises to the task, rebukes discord, and restores calm. So, let's stop focusing on what's wrong and instead focus on what Jesus can do! Let's ask Jesus for help. It's what He does best. He saves the day!
Prayer: Lord God, we come asking You to calm the storms in our lives and to give us the strength and fortitude to stand fast. We'll give You the praise, in Jesus' name. Amen.