It seems like every day the storm gets a little stronger. The truth is, the storm has been fierce all along, but we have not been willing to accept it. We want to be in denial of the storm, perhaps thinking that our rejection will somehow make it go away. But this storm is here and it’s bigger than any of us. But, it’s not bigger than our God.
Yesterday we looked at a passage of scripture that told of the disciples’ encounter with a terrible storm.
Mark 14:22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
We noted four things from this passage:
1) Jesus deliberately sent His disciples into the storm
2) Jesus was already praying for His disciples, even before they entered the storm
3) Jesus went to His disciples during the ‘fourth watch of the night’
4) Jesus reassured His frightened disciples by saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
From these four principles I think that we can say that the storm didn’t take Jesus by surprise and therefore, He had a purpose for letting them be there. Though being in the middle of the storm was the last place they wanted to be, it was exactly where Jesus wanted them to be.
So, the next question that comes into my mind is – “Why did Jesus want them to be in the middle of a terrible storm?” Perhaps if we can understand why they were in a storm, we can better understand why we are in a storm. Let me suggest a few reasons.
1) To teach us that life has its storms
Life has its storms, regardless of whether or not we are a follower of Jesus Christ. Christians aren’t immune to trouble. We live in a world that is under a curse which often produces problems and pain. (see Genesis 3:17-19) Knowing that the disciples had to fight the storm for the most of the night, I am sure that some of them wondered whether or not Jesus still loved them. Maybe they were like Mary and Martha who said to Jesus at the death of their brother, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21, 32) In other words, “Jesus, if You cared, none of this would be happening.”
2) To teach us that Jesus still cares, even though we are in a storm
The big question is, “Did Jesus care for His disciples?” Did it bother Him that His disciples were in the midst of a terrible storm? To answer that question, we have to remember what He was doing at the time of the storm. He was praying. Actually, He was high up on a mountainside praying and therefore, being up above them, I am sure that their voices must have carried across the water and to His ears. He heard their cries and He prayed for them.
3) To teach us that Jesus will use the storm to accomplish something amazing
Jesus used this storm to accomplish two amazing things:
a) He used it to help them see that He is greater than the storm
We must note that Jesus didn’t wait until the storm was over to come to His disciples. The Bible says that Jesus went to them during the fourth watch of the night which means it was somewhere between 3 am and 6 am. By this time, the disciples had been fighting the storm for most of the night and no doubt had given up hope.
But in their darkest moment, something amazing happened.
Matthew 14:25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
Why did the disciples think Jesus was a ghost? When was the last time you saw someone walking on the water? When have you ever seen someone walking on the water? It doesn’t happen. It’s not real. Men don’t walk on water. But Jesus is no ordinary man. He is the God-man. He is both human and divine. He is the bridge between the supernatural and the natural. He is our Savior.
b) He used it to help them learn to trust Him more
Matthew 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
It’s easy for us to read about the disciples being in a storm. Even if we try to imagine how fierce this storm must have been, it still doesn’t affect us. Maybe we are even tempted to ridicule the disciples for being afraid.
But, where are we when it’s our storm? Where are we right now? How are we reacting to the splashing waves? Are we calmly waiting for Jesus to come walking on the water, or are we frantically rowing and screaming for help? Has the thought entered our mind that perhaps Jesus doesn’t care?
Warren Wiersbe states in his commentary that the whole purpose of the storm was to help the disciples grow in their faith. “After all, Jesus would one day leave them, and they would face many storms in their ministries. They had to learn to trust Him even though He was not present with them, and even though it looked as though He did not care.”
– We will face many storms in life
– We have to learn to trust Jesus even when we can’t see Him and it appears that He doesn’t care
This story teaches us that Jesus does care and that He has a special reason for every storm we face. Come around about this time tomorrow and we’ll look at this story once again.
If you have something special you want me to pray over at this time, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
God bless you brethren.
Here’s your song for the day –