“And when he got into a boat, his disciples followed him.”
Matthew 8:23 ESV
All the world is a stage. Never has that old saying been truer than in today’s world. Video cameras stare us down at every turn, recorders record our words when we least expect it and the internet is readily available to send what we have done and said around the world with the click of a computer key. We’d all better be on our best behavior. And time doesn’t lessen the offense. We are all now libel for what we did in junior high. I’m so glad they didn’t have all this surveillance when I was growing up. A camera in the classroom would have been enough to put me away for twenty to life.
To Jesus, and those who follow Him, all the world is not a stage; it is a classroom. Every circumstance and person we come into contact with is an opportunity to learn something new about ourselves and to grow in grace. Mostly what we learn is how much we need Him. This is especially true when He sends storms into our lives.
The beginning of Jesus’ ministry was no doubt confusing to His disciples. After the Sermon on the Mount, He came down to begin His work among the people. He touched a leper, healed a Centurion’s servant and cured Peter’s mother-in-law from a fever. Think of it. He touched the untouchable, ministered to a Gentile and recognized a woman by healing her. All deeply offensive to the Jews. To top it off, He sent a scribe away who wanted to follow Him and then commanded them to leave a well-populated area to sail across the Tiberius Sea to a desolate coastline. Perhaps on the boat trip this band of mostly fishermen were planning to straighten Him out and get the ministry on firmer footing. Enter the “classroom of God;” a storm.
Now the first thing to be notice was that these men were experienced on the water. They were in their element; their comfort zone. Jesus was a carpenter by trade and so they were probably glad to see Him fall asleep. What good would a carpenter do out there anyway? With Jesus asleep they could plot a new course for the ministry. But something was about to occur that none of them saw coming. Storms are like that, you know. Unpredictable things, those gales that interrupt our happy boat rides through life.
Now I’m sure waking Jesus up that night was the last thing they wanted to do, but things became desperate. Now what was the great lesson of that night? Compare the struggle of the disciples with the posture of a resting Savoir. Rather than wake Him up I suggest that they should have joined Him in sleep. Jesus had told them that they were going to sail to the other side. What danger could they have been in if the Master gave them that promise? None. Going through a storm? He promised He would never leave you or forsake you. So, rest my friend, it’s the best way to ride out a storm.