Many people have no trouble imagining a great, awesome Jesus somewhere up in heaven, but they have trouble believing that He cares about all our problems here on earth. They somehow seem to think God is too big to worry about each individual person's problems. Other people seem to think their problems are too great even for Jesus. Both of these ideas are mistaken, as this lesson shows us.
Jesus had been teaching there on the shores of Galilee. Huge crowds of people had come to hear Him speak. There were so many, He got into a boat to address them all. That night, Jesus told His disciples to take Him across to the far shore. He must have been tired, because He fell asleep in the boat. While they were rowing over to the other side, a terrrible storm came up, one that was so violent it threatened to capsize the boat.
Storms on that sea were not unusual; severe storms could come up suddenly, with no advance warning.Some of the men in that boat were experienced fishermen, men who made their living by their mastery over the sea. But this one was a really bad storm, and as the waves rolled over the sides, they began to take on water, until finally, they knew they could not stay afloat much longer. Despite their knowledge and experience, despite their efforts to keep the boat afloat, despite everything they could do, they knew the boat was going to sink, and they were going to die.
How do you respond to the storms in your life? Do you try to handle them under your own power, your own knowledge and experience? Have you ever been in a situation where that wasn't enough? One where no matter what you do, it isn't enough, and you know you are going to sink?
The disciples finally woke Jesus up. It says something about how tired our Lord must have been, that He had slept through the storm up to this point. If you've ever been out on open waters in bad weather, you know how difficult it is to sleep with the boat bobbing up and down! They asked Jesus "Don't you even care that we are going to perish?"
This chapter doesn't make clear exactly what their thoughts were at this point-- they might have been gently rebuking Jesus for sleeping while they worked so hard to try to save the ship. From Matthew's account of this incident, however, we see that they were actually seeking some kind of intervention from Jesus. These men had already seen Him perform miracles, and they begged Him to save them from this terrible storm.
Do you have faith in The ability of Jesus to handle all YOUR problems, even when they seem to be about to swamp you? Do you believe He can calm the storms in your life the same way He calmed this storm?
Jesus rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith, asking them why they were so afraid. At this point, they should have had more faith than they displayed. They had Him with them, and had seen evidence of His power, and yet they were still afraid. They still did not understand His purpose on earth. Jesus knew He was not meant to perish in a storm; how would that death have brought salvation to the world?
Jesus then rebuked the raging seas and the roaring winds, telling them "Peace, be still." There is a tremendous majesty and uncommon authority in these simple words. Immediately, these 'uncontrollable' forces of nature obeyed Him, and there was a great calm. Can you imagine? No residual waves, slowly easing off and dying down; no gradually declining winds--- just sudden and total calm. How absolutely awsome!
The disciples were certainly awed by it, even though they had seen Him perform many miracles already! They asked each other "What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?". Even the supposed "uncontrollable' forces of nature were under His command and authority! They were indeed completely awed by this revelation of Christ's mighty power, knowing it could only have come from God!
We have the record of God's Holy Bible to assure us of the power of Jesus to perform miracles. Have you ever just turned your problems over to Jesus, and watched and waited for His miraculous intervention? Do you trust Jesus to bring you safely through the storms in your life? Or are you like the disciples, lacking in faith?
God is no different now than He was then. Jesus can still the raging storms in our lives today just as He did then. He cares about all of our problems, and no problem we ever face is too big for Jesus to handle. We have to learn to depend on Jesus instead of our own power, and to have faith that He will bring us safely through any storm life can throw at us. He can, and He will!
(See also Matt. 8:23-27, and Luke 8:22-25)