Jesus Rebukes the Wind and the Waves

Why are they so impressed this time?

Luke 8:22-25 (ESV)

One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”

Wow. Slow learners of the world unite! The apostles have seen Jesus perform countless miracles, even raising a man from the dead. So now Jesus changes the weather, and this time they were afraid, and they marveled. What’s so special about is this miracle?

Why do insurance companies call major weather events “acts of God”? This doesn’t really make any sense, but everyone’s used to it. It seems that large scale events feel more grandiose and thus more “God like.”

This secular mindset is still working in the apostles, and so this miracle really impresses them. OK, whatever works. Eventually, they need to figure out who Jesus really is and if this helps, fine.

For now, Jesus has the apostles at the, “now that I’ve got your attention,” stage.

That’s progress.

We tend to think of God when things get serious. We pray about the big things but assume we can take care of the rest. That misses the point.

We are supposed to grow in our dependency on God. We come to Christ thinking we are able to do all things but, over the years, the list of what we can handle ourselves steadily shrinks. Great saints depend on God for every breath.

We forget that God is in control of everything and that things that may not look important to us can be important to Him. Frankly, we can be pretty bad at picking prayer topics.

Instead of lifting something or someone up in prayer, ask God to lift us down. Ask Him to grow us small in our self-reliance and big in our dependency on Him.

This is not easy. Self-reliance is at the heart of usefulness (in this world’s eyes anyway). Competence is a plus.

For example, when someone makes coffee for the church, they’re not supposed to make lousy coffee; they’re supposed to try to make the best coffee possible.

It’s how we “try” that’s the key. Sure, you measure carefully, but do you think of God while you’re doing it? Are you mindful of His blessings or do you just measure carefully?

Practice the presence of God.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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