Friday, December 2, 2011

Big storms in life: 0. Jesus: 1

When we begin to understand that the bible itself says that those who most loudly call themselves "The Church" aren't actually Jesus' church, who is Jesus really? That's the question we're still answering in our (chronological) study of what Jesus did and said – and what He didn't do and say.

As always, you can find all our previous posts in this series, going through the Gospels chronologically to find the real Jesus, here.

And as always you'll find the scriptures for today are here. (Note that you can change the human-translation version on this scripture page, as suits you. I have NO theological or other tie to the online-bible site I use for this blog – it just lists many human translations to choose from, including the NASB, KJV, The Message, and the NRSV, which are the ones mentioned by those I chat and email with.)

Today, the scripture talks about when Jesus calmed a storm
. Apparently it was evening or late evening, and they all decided to travel across the huge lake. Jesus was tired and fell asleep in the boat, once they were underway.

A huge storm came up – probably fast and furious, as storms on that lake did and still do – and was about to swamp the boat. Everyone was terrified for their lives – except Jesus, who still slept in the boat. Finally, they decided to wake Him up and point out to Him what they thought He was missing: "Hey, man, don't you care we're all about to die???"

Jesus first act was to tell the storm to knock it off – and it did. Just quieted right down.

His second act was to tell the disciples to knock off being afraid. Their fear, He told them, indicated a lack of faith.

The Bible tells us that disciples were stunned. Who in the world was this guy that even the natural world obeyed Him?

There's a lot going on in this little story. What kinds of things do you note? Here's what I see:
  • That Jesus was both God and a human being is demonstrated in this story. He was able to command the forces of nature, but He also got tired and needed to sleep. God, who is a Spirit, doesn't need to sleep. But when God took on human form to be among us, He took on all the needs and frailties that our human bodies endure, as well. What does that mean for your own needs and frailties? Can you imagine that God doesn't understand them all?
  • When bad or scary things happen, it might just be because that's how the natural world functions (until Jesus comes again, that is). Nothing in the Bible says that there was any purpose or big meaning to this storm. It just came up, as hundreds of storms came up every year on that lake. Those who like to claim that God is behind such things as Hurricane Katrina to "punish" the people they don't like, are, as the lawyers would say, "assuming facts not in evidence" (they also make a mockery of themselves, when such natural calamities strike their own communities, but they don't then say God is punishing them!) Have you assumed that some bad or scary event was God sending you or someone else punishment or a "message"? How could you realistically determine when He really is, and when something is just a natural event or function of this world?  
  • The disciples couldn't sleep through the storm because they had no faith – which meant they didn't really trust that God was taking care of them always, and wouldn't let them die until it was ok in His plan for that to happen. Jesus knew God's plan, and knew it wasn't His time to die, so He slept like a baby, even with a terrible, gut-wrenching storm threatening to send them all to the bottom of the lake. The disciples assumed they were being realistic about what was going on, but in truth, it was Jesus who was actually being realistic. Are you realistic in your own life, regarding the time of your death? Are you putting your faith / trust in God's plan and your part in it? Or are you still unrealistically assuming that you can save yourself by fearful struggling? 
  • Imagine how absolutely stunned the disciples must have been, when Jesus stood up and told the storm to quit and it instantly did. Imagine witnessing that kind of Almighty Power that could alter the physics of the natural world with a word! Can you close your eyes and imagine yourself in that boat, fearing the storm, and then perhaps even more fearing the Man who could make that storm disappear in a heartbeat? Imagine yourself that protected, even when you have little faith, even when you have garbage for true understanding, just because you stick with Jesus. Now, know that you ARE that protected, even right now!

Take care until next week!
This article written by Lynne at You can contact Lynne at