Now it happened, on a certain day that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” (Luke 8:22-25)
The Power Of Jesus
Sailing on the Sea of Galilee could be a dangerous journey with the winds suddenly coming from the east sweeping across the sea. The waves would build to great heights and the small fishing boats that occasioned the sea could easily be swamped. Four of the apostles were seasoned fishermen who knew the power of the sea. They would not be surprised at the suddenness of the storm but what happened on one trip brought fear even to these experienced mariners. A fierce storm came upon the lake like a whirlwind or boisterous surge with violent agitation. The gale was so hard it seemed the boat would be torn asunder. Water was filling the boat. The danger was present and twelve men were fearful of dying. One man was sleeping and was unafraid.
Awakening Jesus from His sleep, the twelve saw and heard something that would make them afraid yet filled with awe. Jesus arose from where He was sleeping, rebuked the wind, and the raging waters, and suddenly in an instant, everything was calm. The noise of the unruly storm ceased so quickly it would have startled the twelve. At one moment the ship was engulfed in a massive typhoon with deadly intentions and in the next moment the sea was as smooth as glass; all of this done by the words of one man. The voice of Jesus commanded the elements of wind and water to obey His command and the sea submitted in an instant. Two things are clear from this story.
The first is the incredible power of Jesus and that everything is at the will of His command. There are many things men have created in history that have shown human power. Great armies have crossed the earth conquering vast landscapes of nations and peoples. In August 1945 the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan were obliterated by two atomic bombs. No power that immense has been unleased or destroyed with such totality before and since. The ingenuity of man has landed men on the moon and sent spacecraft to the furthest reaches of a small fragment of the universe. Science has created impressive strides in medicine, technology, and understanding the world. Nothing man has done can compare to one man standing in the midst of a violent storm in a sea of Palestine and with only a few words harnessed the powers of nature. Jesus calmed the storm with the word of God.
Understanding the power of Jesus to calm a storm by speaking to it should remind man has small he is and how great God has always been. The angels are bemused at the pride of man because men have nothing to brag about compared to God. People spend all their lives thinking they are the most important contribution to the human race and they do everything they can do to achieve great fame, fortune, and wisdom and then die and meet someone so much greater than they could ever imagine. What in the imagination of human wisdom can compare with the power of Jesus? Is there anything that man can do that remotely rivals what Jesus accomplished with a few words? Jesus commanded the sea to be calm and the twelve men witnessing the calming were afraid and in awe of His power. My God – how large your ocean and how small my boat.
The second is for the people of God to never fear when their Lord has such great power. Those in the world must fear the power of God because when they face His power they will know His wrath. For the child of God, the power of God is not to be feared as those who have no hope. The power of God reminds the heart of the devoted that God controls everything. Jesus demonstrated He was the Son of God and the Creator because the wind and the sea obeyed His voice. The reason the wind ceased and the waves abated is because they act under the authority of the hand of the one who made them. If Jesus can command the sea to be calm, what is there in my life that He cannot speak and remove fear and doubt? This is a timely story to read to remind all of us who live under the fear of COVID that while the storm may rage and the winds of uncertainty bluster against our faith – the one who controls all things remains in charge. The virus will go away one day and if not then life will change in many ways but God is still God and His will is still in place. Everything will continue as is has until the Creator speaks and the world comes to an end. The word of God formed the world, the word of God holds the world together and the word of God will bring the world to an end. Trusting in that word gives confidence and hope in the middle of a raging storm.
Remember that Jesus was asleep in the midst of the storm. He knew He would not drown in the sea and His Father had work for His disciples and they would not drown in the sea either. Trust in the will of the Lord. Rely upon His power to allow you to be calm in the midst of the storm. If God is with us who can be against us? Let the word of God dwell in you richly to strengthen your heart. His word will calm you. His word will bring you peace. Let Jesus speak to you today.