One of the greatest sermons I’ve ever heard was given by my pastor on the following verses. When I realized this was the part of Luke that was up next I was really excited to take a long look at it, because the following event from the life of Jesus has really helped me a lot. We’re still in chapter 8 here, let’s catch up with Jesus and his crew and see what they’re doing.
Luke 8:22-23 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out. 23 As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.
First, can we just say a nice big AMEN to the fact that Jesus napped? The next time someone wants to give you trouble or look down on you for napping, remind them that we’re called to be like Jesus and Jesus napped!
On a slightly more serious note, the first thing that I wanted to look at here is that the danger the disciples were in was real. The last sentence in verse 23 even goes out of its way to use that phrase. It says “… and they were in real danger.” There was a very legitimate reason for them to be afraid. Looking at the situation from a natural point of view, things were getting really scary. The boat is filling up with water, and these guys are facing death. That’s real danger. So what did they do about it?
Luke 8:24 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm.
When the storm began to rage, these guys knew that it was never a bad idea to run to Jesus. Even though they were still a little dense, still getting to know the full scope of who Jesus was and what he was really all about, they knew enough to know that when it was natural to fear the real danger of a situation, your best choice was to turn to the one who is supernatural. This is a concept that sometimes we’re not good at putting into practice. We get so overwhelmed with our worry and fear that we don’t ever actually turn to the supernatural force in our life that can do something about it.
There’s real danger to losing your job and having bills lurking right around the corner. It’s natural to fear that situation and be overcome with stress in it. Here’s one that challenges a lot of people. There’s real danger to getting a scary or serious health diagnosis from a doctor. It’s natural to fear that situation and be overcome with grief and worry. From a natural viewpoint, fear and worry are logical responses to the dangerous and scary situations life throws at us.
But. When Jesus is on the boat with you, when you’re part of his crew, when you’re sailing the seas of life as one of his followers, you are now teamed up with someone who is more than natural. He is supernatural. The disciples knew that no natural force could save them. There were some hardened, experienced fishermen in this group. If they thought drowning was a real possibility it means that the situation was really dire. They had a very real problem, and when they looked at it from a natural standpoint they were scared and panicked. I get that, I’d be tempted to freak out if I was on a sinking ship, too. Most of us would. But what these verses show us is that with Jesus, we’re not limited to a natural viewpoint. When we face those moments that cause fear and anxiety in us, we have the option to shift to another viewpoint. One higher and far more powerful than our own. One that’s not restrained by wimpy things like wind, and raging waves or things like disease and anxiety.
There’s one last part of this that I want to explore. There was a storm, the boat’s taking on water, disciples wake up Jesus, Jesus calms the storm, and then Jesus says this to them.
Luke 8:25 Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”
There was a time in my faith when Jesus’ reaction here bothered me. It felt unnecessarily harsh to me, but as I read it from a more mature place in my life, I see what Jesus is saying. Where is your faith? Don’t you know that Jesus is with you on this journey, that he’s in the boat with you? If that’s the case, it’s folly to even consider that sinking is an option. If Jesus is truly the lord of your life and you are truly walking as a member of his crew, then where is your faith when the hard times hit? Don’t you realize who is with you? The unsinkable one, the supernatural one, the one whom death could not hold onto. It’s not bad to run to Jesus in hard times. But it seems to me that Jesus is showing us that it’s even better not to feel the need to run at all. Let Jesus nap, secure in the knowledge that with him on the boat, no force in existence could ever bring it down.
Alrighty, I love you wonderful people. God’s good, and there is so much peace and comfort to be found if we can learn to rely on Him and trust in Him when the storms of life hit. I hope you’re all having a wonderful week so far!
If you have something that you’d like prayer for or need to discuss with someone, my email is always open to you. firstname.lastname@example.org