What is the context of Jesus being asleep in the boat? Usually, we pick up the story when the disciples wake him up in fear of being destroyed by the storm. But today we want to look at Jesus being asleep in the boat? How could Jesus sleep during a fierce storm? A storm that had them fearing for their lives. A storm they would never forget. What does that mean to us?
Before answering the first question, let’s look at the disciples in a similar situation. Not much later the disciples would find themselves fighting back massive waves far from land in the wee hours of the morning. But this time Jesus was not with them. The disciples were fighting a battle of man verses the elements. When looking out across the towering waves beating against the helpless boat they saw a man walking towards them on the water. Could it be a ghost? It looks like Jesus. Then He spoke to them, “Don’t be afraid.” Peter for some reason needs to verify that it is Jesus by asking to walk on the water too. He jumps out of boat, starts walking on the water and realizes that he is in a storm. The minute he saw the waves he began to sink. Jesus reaches out to save him. They step into the boat and the storm instantly seizes. What does this mean to us? What did it mean to the disciples?
We are looking at two distinct events that converge into one life lesson for the newly formed disciples. They would not be with Jesus for long, but He taught them through the storms. What do you see? Fishermen who were afraid of the storms that threatened their lives on the lake? Do you see men who pledged to follow Jesus but have no clue who he is? Do you see yourself each time something drastic happens in your life? Jesus said the same thing to the disciples in both circumstances. During the first storm when He was awakened from his sleep, and when He approached the boat by walking on the water in the second storm. Jesus said, to Peter and I believe that the others could hear, “You have so little faith!” You would think that after he commanded the wind and rain in the first storm that their faith would be strong. Instead, Jesus repeated the words, “You have so little faith!” that had to remind them of the first storm.
What does this mean for us? There are so many avenues that we could walk down with this thought. Let us focus on: We have to know who Jesus is in our lives. The disciples had a relationship with Jesus. We have to remember what he has already done and apply it to our daily situation. The disciples as well as us needed to learn that the storm could not kill Jesus. Whether Jesus is in the boat asleep, or out of the boat in the storm, there is no need to fear, because Jesus is with us. The disciples now understood that Jesus was man and yet God. Had He not just walked on water and commanded the wind and waves. Wow! Jesus has authority over sin, death and life. The lessons they learned were to expunge doubt and instill faith. The disciples went on to face many more challenges but the final record states that they spent their lives in service for Jesus.
We must hold on to the fact that regardless of the trials that enter our lives, Jesus is with us. When Jesus is with you the storms have no power. We have learned that things may not go the way that we plan or anticipate for them to go. The disciples certainly were not looking for a second storm. They certainly did not understand what was ahead of them in life. But, Jesus prepared them in the storms. They now understood that whether Jesus was in the boat asleep, or outside the boat walking on the water, that as long as Jesus was with them everything would be alright. For Jesus also said to his disciples during the storm, “Take courage. I am here!” HeartVision Family, hold on to this promise that Jesus is with us!
We love you
Pastors Willie and Rochelle McIntosh
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“Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him. Matthew 8:23-27 NLT
“Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here! ” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.” Matthew 14:24-33 NLT