Then Jesus got into a boat, and his disciples followed him. Suddenly, a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves—but Jesus was sleeping. So the disciples came and woke him up, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
We read this episode and may think, “Those disciples just didn’t get it! Jesus was right there with them!” Jesus–the guy whom they had seen “heal every kind of disease and affliction, even demoniacs and paralytics” (Matthew 4:23-24)! Jesus–the One whom some of them (who had been disciples of John the Baptist) had seen get baptized, and had heard the very voice of God declare from heaven, “This is My beloved Son!” (Matthew 3:17)” Jesus, He whom John the Baptist had announced as the prophesied Messiah, the Christ–“the one who came after me [by birth] but existed before me, whose sandal I am not worthy to untie, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and who baptizes with the Holy Spirit!” (John 1:26-34). They had the Son of God and Messiah right there with them in the boat, and yet there they are, terrified.
Granted, we have more complete revelation and thus fuller knowledge than they did. We know that Jesus, as to His human nature, yes, was sleeping, but, as to His divine nature, “is the Keeper of His people, who neither slumbers nor sleeps” (Psalm 121:1). We know that “the winds and seas obeyed Him” (Matthew 5:27), both in their ceasing, when He awakened and commanded them aloud, and in their commencing, when He slept and commanded them in silence. We know that the outcome of this episode was never in doubt, because every detail was part of God’s master plan of salvation for His people, “plans for your shalom, and not evil, plans to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
So with this more complete revelation and fuller knowledge we have, we know that the disciples need not have been fearful. Jesus, Jesus! was right there in the boat with them. Good news, people of God, Jesus is in the boat! Jesus, Jesus! is with us in the boat, in the storm, in the dark! Jesus, Messiah!, Son of God!, is with us in the boat being swamped by the waves. He may seem asleep and silent to us because we do not see Him taking the corrective action we desperately desire. But make no mistake, He is in the boat, our boat, with us, and He is in command. The winds, the seas of our storm are obeying Him right now. The outcome is not in doubt. God is working His plan, that same plan. So, we can keep bailing water, and communicating our concerns and needs to Jesus, but in hope and peace, not panic and fear.
Jesus, but in hope and peace, not panic and fear.
“Sometimes He Calms the Storm”
by Scott Krippayne
All who sail the sea of faith
Find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark
And gentle winds grow strong
Suddenly fear is like white water
Pounding on the soul
Still we sail on knowing
That our Lord is in control
Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn’t mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child
He has a reason for each trial
That we pass through in life
And though we’re shaken
We cannot be pulled apart from Christ
No matter how the driving rain beats down
On those who hold to faith
A heart of trust will always
Be a quiet peaceful place