Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matthew 8:23-27)
Trusting God With The Big Things
Following His sermon on the mountain, great multitudes follow Jesus. A leper approaches Jesus pleading with Him to heal him. The leper shows remarkable faith in Jesus, suggesting that the Lord could take away his leprosy if He were willing. Jesus reaches out touching the man, and his leprosy is gone. When Jesus comes into Capernaum, a Roman military officer seeks the blessing of Jesus to heal a servant of his. The Lord marvels at the faith of the centurion and his compassion for the servant. Jesus tells the centurion that He will go and heal the servant, but the centurion believes Jesus can heal him without being there. The servant is healed that very hour.
Arriving at the home of Peter, Jesus sees his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. Jesus heals her. That evening, many who were demon-possessed came to Jesus to be healed. Jesus healed all manner of sickness as the people sought the grace of His healing power. Everyone who came to Jesus was healed. No one left who desired to be healed without the healing power of God. The disciples of Jesus witnessed the power of healing as few men could experience. Traveling with the Lord was filled with multitudes surrounding Jesus, and all the sick were cured of their ailments. The stories of healing should have impressed themselves on the disciples’ minds.
After healing the multitudes, Jesus and the disciples got into a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Four of the disciples were experienced seamen. Suddenly a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. Jesus was asleep in the boat when the storm came. Frantically, the disciples secured the boat as best they could in the face of the storm but to no avail. All of their efforts seemed to be pointless, and their concerns were they were going to drown. Fearful of their lives, they woke Jesus pleading for help. Jesus stood up and rebuked the wind and sea, and suddenly the storm ended, and everything was calm. The disciples were amazed at the power of Jesus.
From an outside perspective of the fearful disciples in the boat with Jesus, it would seem confusing that earlier, they had seen incredible miracles performed by Jesus, and when the storm threatened their boat, they thought they would die. Jesus sleeping during the storm should have been the first sign there was nothing to worry about. The disciples saw Jesus heal a leper. Leprosy was a death sentence with no cure. Jesus touched the leper, and he was cleansed. That was a visible miracle telling all who saw it the great power of Jesus. When the multitudes brought demon-possessed people to Jesus, and He healed them all, the disciples should have realized the power of Jesus reached into the demon world. All of the diseases that people had were healed. None walked away without the grace of God taking away their infirmities and sicknesses. Jesus healed everyone, and the disciples witnessed his power.
Peter, Andrew, James, and John were seasoned fishermen who knew the dangers of the open sea. They had probably experienced the quick storms familiar to the Sea of Galilee. The storm that beset them seemed especially harsh, and they all thought they would drown. Jesus was not disturbed by the storm and was asleep; which should have been a strong message there was nothing to fear. Faith struggled in the hearts of the disciples of Jesus; they trusted Him in the small details but could not trust Him in the larger issues. If they had learned the lessons of healing a leper, demon-possessed, and all the sick, they would never have feared in the storm. Did they take for granted the power of Jesus and become jaded to its power to transform their lives? The storm became personal to the twelve, and they got scared. It was then that they cried out to the Lord. They should have tied things down and hung on because being with Jesus meant there was nothing to fear.
It is easy to point the finger at the twelve for being afraid in the boat, but so often, the child of God will trust God for the small things but struggle in faith when the big storms come. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and He will be the same tomorrow. Yesterday may be filled with great little victories here and there. Today may bring a storm that seems to overwhelm, overcome our spirits and cause doubt to fill the heart. If Jesus can heal a leper one day, He can calm a storm the next day. The small victories teach us that God is faithful, so when the big storms come, we have the assurance that God is still the God of victory. Tie everything down, hang on, and know that while the storm rages, God is in control. He will never leave nor forsake His children. Whatever life brings, Jesus is there, trusting His Father. Follow the lead of Jesus – remain calm. God has got this. And He really does.