I had a good conversation with a person who was at the worship service Sunday. They were a little concerned about the message. Well, more about the text. If you remember, I preached from Matthew 8:23-27. A storm came when the disciples were in the boat with Jesus and He was sleeping during the storm. When the water started taking over the boat, the disciples went and woke up Jesus asking Him to save them. Perfect request due to the fear of dying in the storm. Jesus got up, stopped the storm and brought about peace. Then Jesus said this to the disciples: “You of little faith. Why were you so afraid?” To me, it is a beautiful story of Jesus allowing the disciples’ faith to grow.
When the person came to me, they brought up a point I had not thought about in this passage. They asked this question: “Why would Jesus rebuke the disciples for doing what they were supposed to do, which is going to Him when they were in trouble?” I was caught off guard. As I look back at the passage, I totally understand the question. I don’t know how many times I have preached that we are to go to God when we are afraid, or confused or just struggling. This is what they did, but yet Jesus seemed to rebuke them. I decided I need to look a little further at the passage, so I compared the story in the gospels. (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4: 35-41; Luke 8:22-25.) John does not mention the story of calming the storm.
The gospels are pretty much the same in recounting the story. The only difference is in Mark, where the disciples ask Jesus, “don’t you care if we drown.” In each account, Jesus got up, calmed the storm and questioned the disciples’ faith. He didn’t rebuke them, but he questioned them because he knew their faith needed to grow. He did rebuke the wind. Remember, they had just started following Him and learning from Him. They had yet to learn what He was about. We know there was still so much to learn from Him by the last words of the account in the gospels. The men were amazed or afraid and they asked, “who is this man that even the winds obey Him?” They were still learning about Christ.
As I thought of the question brought to me, and as I read the account in the gospels, here is what I discovered. (1) Jesus doesn’t fuss at us for coming to Him. He didn’t fuss at them either. (2) Jesus wants us to trust Him, even when we can’t see Him. That is hard, but it is part of growing. (3) If we are still amazed at what He can do, even after following Him, we still have room to grow. No, Jesus was not upset about them coming to Him, but He did want them to know there was still room to grow. We all have room to grow, and we can always trust God more. Until next week…
Peace and Blessings… Johnny