Several weeks ago, our pastor preached on the time Jesus was asleep in the boat, a storm came, his disciples woke him up, and, with a word, he made the storm stop, the sea calm. Something in the sermon has stayed on my mind for weeks. I can’t stop thinking about it.
He asked the disciples, “Where is your faith?”
It’s not easy being a disciple.
They had been a part of a huge event, Jesus teaching one of his longest lessons, to thousands of adoring fans. They marveled at his wisdom.
When it’s all over, Jesus says, “Let’s go to the other side of the lake.”
The fishermen in the group probably looked at the sky, looked at each other, and shrugged.
They usually did what he said.
So they took him in the boat.
The storm came. It was bad. Real bad.
These guys did what anyone would do. They fought to stay alive. They were really, really afraid. I’m talking fear.
They woke up Jesus to help them fight to stay alive.
Then, after he fixed it, (Wow, wow, wow!) they got to the other side, and were nearly attacked by two naked, demon possessed wild men with super human strength.
Then, the people of that town made them leave, and they had to get right back into the boat.
Who wouldn’t be frustrated?
Sounds like a big waste of time, right?
Except, two men who had terrorized the region because of the demons, met Jesus, were healed, the demons driven out. And, at least one of them became a witness to the ten towns in the area to what Jesus had done.
But what was so bad about what the disciples did? That is the question I have been pondering for the last few weeks. They had a natural fear in a natural unexpected turn of events, and responded with all the natural abilities they could muster.
They had no reason to even imagine that Jesus could speak to the storm to end it.
They were doing the best they could.
In their own strength.
Maybe the faith that Jesus was talking about was trusting him wherever he told them to go, whatever he told them to do.
No matter how bad it seemed.
Because he knew something that they didn’t know.
He knew the plan. God’s plan.
You can read the different versions of this story in Matthew 8, Mark 4, and Luke 8.
Oh, yeah. The demons that had been in the guys? There were a lot. Jesus sent them (at their request) into a herd of pigs nearby, about 2000 of ‘em.
(wait for it)
the entire herd of swine flew off the cliff and drowned.
(Insert smiles, and or groans here).
The reason I am telling this is because I really didn’t know why this particular story stuck with me so long.
1. Saturday night, around 8:30, I got a text message from the guy who was supposed to teach the high school class bible study on Sunday morning. He was sick, the youth pastor was out of town at a funeral, and someone had told him to call me.
My natural inclination was to pretend I didn’t see the text message.
I said, “Okay,” through text, so he couldn’t hear my reluctance.
“Great, I will send you the scripture.”
Please hurry, I thought. There is not a whole lot of time to prepare something.
You wanna hear something neat? The scripture was the exact scripture that I had been contemplating for the last 3 or 4 weeks.
I was ready.
Next morning, I walked into the youth building. Two students. Wasted trip?
Did Jesus waste a trip two see those two demoniacs?
2. While I was writing this, I learned that my niece is fixing to go into a pretty intense storm of her own. Her job ends tomorrow. She just found out yesterday.
Maybe this message will help her, too.