“…the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.”
Matthew 8:24 (NIV)
The Sea of Galilee is a very unpredictable body of water. Storms come up without warning and create chaos for the people who might be out on the sea in boats.
In the context for our verse we read that Jesus had given an order for the disciples to get into a boat and cross to the other side of the Sea (Matthew 8:18). So the disciples followed Jesus into the boat (Matthew 8:23). We must understand that obedience to Jesus can get people into life threatening situations or circumstances that can end their life here. The idea that if you follow Jesus your life will certainly go along wonderfully well is simply not true.
Some people who are followers of Jesus appear to have a great life here on earth. Yet there is no promise given in Scripture that we shall have the “good” life simply because we walk with the Lord.
For some followers of Jesus, doubts concerning their faith occur regularly in the context of trouble. They approach their Christianity with the notion that they are going to have everything they need and no harm will come to them because they love the Lord.
It is obvious in our verse that Jesus was with the disciples but He was asleep as the storm threatened the lives of all on board. In our situations in life we might imagine that the Lord is asleep and that is why trouble comes knocking at our door. We sense that God is looking the other way, ignoring us, or has possibly forgotten us entirely.
In their terror the disciples woke Jesus up and called on Him to save them. Before He solved their life threatening problem He rebuked their lack of faith and their fear of the storm. What a challenge for us as we face life threatening difficulties. How can we subdue our fear and increase our faith?
Jesus provides the answer to the question about subduing fear and feeding our faith in the context of our verse. Jesus gave the fearful, doubting disciples a demonstration of His identity. Jesus is not only the Creator God but He controls all that He has created. With a word He dismissed the storm and delivered the fearful disciples.
How important it is for us to be very confident about Who is with us. Such knowledge drives away our fears. John Newton, the author of the hymn Amazing Grace, penned the following. May the words provide healing to your wounded spirit and cause you to rise above the problems around you today.
How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds, And drives away his fear.
It makes the wounded spirit whole, And calms the troubled breast;
‘Tis manna to the hungry soul, And to the weary rest.