Read Matthew 8
So, the disciples set out across the lake for the other side. Jesus took a nap. Who could blame him? His days were always full. He had healed many. He had set forth the challenge as what it was to be his disciple. Now was a good time for a nap.
A storm arose and the boat started taking on water. We are not told that it was sinking, but it panicked the disciples, among whom were experienced fishermen. When the waves are higher than the ship, you have found a real storm.
I have been in a good storm in the North Atlantic. I was on a helicopter carrier, not as large as the aircraft carriers that launch and recover jets, but still a large ship. We were being tossed hard.
In trace of us was an LST, a much smaller ship that carried a company’s worth of Marines and their equipment. I remember being near the fantail of our ship watching the smaller ship that followed. You would see it, then you wouldn’t. It would be atop of the waves, then the waves crashed over it.
It was humorous that when we ate in the wardroom, some plates would slide one way down the table, then slide back. It was mostly amusing. Nobody was even trying to eat on the smaller ship that was behind us.
Today’s ships are built to have water crashing across the deck. Two thousand years ago, the boat that carried Jesus and the disciples was mostly open. The storm was a legitimate concern.
One thing that I found I could do on ship was sleep through a storm. You were not going to do anything to the storm by staying awake. So, when we think of Jesus sleeping through a storm, understand that this part was not a supernatural act.
But the disciples were concerned. Would everything come to an end so soon? Was this the end? Did they have enough life vests? The disciples did the only thing that they could do. They woke Jesus.
“Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
Jesus didn’t say, “Wow, this is a bad storm.”
Jesus didn’t awaken with fear in his eyes.
Jesus didn’t break into song, “Fellows it’s been good to know ya.”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
He didn’t wait for an answer. He got up and rebuked the storm and it was completely calm.
His disciples wondered what sort of man they had thrown in with—he even commanded the wind and the waves.
The disciples had listened to his teachings. They had witnessed his mighty acts of healing. Now they witness his command over nature itself.
Just who was this Jesus? Simon Peter would answer more definitively in another 8 chapters.
For now, these men were simply amazed. For us, we should not be surprised at what Jesus can do, but we will always be amazed.
He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords and even the wind and the waves obey him.