Thursday, January 8, 2015
Jesus Is In the Boat Again
Luke 8:22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they put out, 23 and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. 24 They went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?”
Here we find Jesus in the boat with the disciples again. Time has passed from that first encounter when Jesus climbed in the boat and told Simon where to fish. It was then that Jesus called the fishermen to become fishers of men. This had to do with their calling and vocation, but this test has to do with their personal safety and the realization that Jesus has power over so much more!
This encounter becomes a test of the disciples’ faith. Interestingly, this is the place where they feel comfortable. This is their world — back in the boat. They were fishermen. They had practically lived on the sea. Jesus was a carpenter from Nazareth! Suddenly their world was rocked by a terrible storm and Jesus was sleeping through it all. They had expertise to deal with these kinds of situations and yet it had moved beyond their control. In their panic and fear they cried out to Jesus and his response was probably much more than what they had imagined. He revealed to them that he had power over everything — even in the places and situations where they may have felt that they knew more than he did! Cyril of Alexandria tells us that in that moment “he worked a calm in them, smoothing the waves of their weak faith.”
It was in that moment of tranquility that they looked at each other and asked, “Who is this?” And this became the moment in which they began to understand who it was in the boat with them. Jesus is not just a rabbi calling them to a vocation, but so much more, as he displays his power over nature. Ultimately they are beginning to understand that the Jesus in the boat with them — is the son of God.
Our spiritual lives are ones of growth, not a static state. The disciples had to move on from that initial call from Jesus — and obedience to that call — to serving with him on a daily basis. We must do the same, but then come the moments when our world is rocked.
I find it interesting that this storm comes when the disciples are out on a boat on the very waters that they knew so well. Our world is often rocked when we are out in the very places where we feel comfortable and at home. We think that we know how to handle the situation better than the Lord and so we don’t look to him for help. We try to take care of everything ourselves until that very moment of crisis when there seems to be no other option. It is then that we cry out and hope that he will do something.
Jesus is in the boat. He is with us in every single moment of life and we don’t need to wait for a crisis to develop to call upon him. Instead, we ought to be relaxed, trusting him to be in control of every aspect of our lives. But this can only happen when we acknowledge that we are living day by day, moment by moment, in submission to the One who has the power to control nature.
He’s got this. He can handle what it is that we are facing today.
Lord, I honor and worship you today as the Son of God. Please help me to trust in you for all you want to accomplish! Amen.