Matthew, Mark and John record the story of the disciple’s encounter with Jesus on the stormy sea. Over the centuries of Christendom, the saints have found the truths of the story to remind us that we can rest secure in Christ Jesus. We need these comforting stories. They remind us that challenging times come, difficulties threaten our security, but in them Jesus shows up.
After feeding the crowd of about 5,000, the Jews, their stomachs full, want to make Jesus their king. Jesus, however sends the disciples on their way, and withdraws to pray. Meanwhile, the disciples travelled across the sea, and experienced their deepest fears.
We also can relate to stormy times. Stories of broken families, lost finances, ill health and various trials surround us. Barbs of fear taunt us. Challenging times confront us. Our security is threatened.
When their security was threatened, all the trust the disciples placed in their skills as fishermen and the structure of their boat was tested. Would the winds tear it apart? They feared flailing about in the tempestuous sea as their end.
We also rely on our schedules and routines. We depend on the people around us. Our reliance on certain doctrines and ways of thinking have brought us this far. Nevertheless, storms disrupt all these things. A loved one gets ill or dies, new and strange ideas, or an unexpected economic shift cause us to tremble. Where can we turn in times of turmoil?
Jesus Shows Up
In times of turmoil we need Jesus. When Jesus saw His disciples in trouble, He chose not to stop the wind. Instead He let them experience the storm. Then He gave it perspective. His word to them? “It is I; do not be afraid.” He showed up in the storm. This Man who had fed the crowd, claimed to be God’s Son, healed the Nobleman’s son, and the man at the pool of Bethsaida, could He could rescue them? Did He have power even above the reality of their deepest fears? How about our own lives? Do we believe He can rescue us? Can He lead us into all truth? Will He show up when we need Him the most? Believer, He showed up and through the ages by His Spirit, He shows up. Hear His word to your heart today, “It is I; Do not be afraid.”
This story reminds us that challenging times come, difficulties threaten our security, but in them Jesus shows up.