Nov 12 - Matt Moore, Jesus Calms the Storm
This Sunday our fearless leader was on vacation, so we were paid a visit by Matt Moore, which is always a treat! And Greg, you’ll be pleased to know there were no jokes at your expense this time! Matt’s message focused on the story of Jesus calming the storm.
Mark 4:35-41 That day when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
We learn a lot about the character of Jesus from this short story. First of all, Jesus packed a lot into his three years of ministry and, throughout all the chaos, he understood the importance of resting, renewing, and refreshing his body and spirit. He stepped away from the crowds to sail across the lake with his disciples. And on the trip, he even enjoyed a nap! Most of us keep our lives so cluttered with commitments, events, appointments, and other obligations that we rarely have time to rest, much less sit quietly with Jesus. As his example shows us, this is a practice we can’t exclude from our lives.
In this story, we also see the disciples worrying through the storm until it is so bad they are certain they will drown. Only then do they rush to Jesus for help. Why do we try to handle our problems on our own, until they become too heavy? Then we rush to the Lord and ask if he even cares about us. Jesus’s simple message is “Do not be afraid. Have faith.” That seems far too simple when we’re faced with a “storm” that could be unemployment, a broken relationship, a bad diagnosis, or something equally devastating, but Jesus knows our needs and is with us. He has the ability to calm that storm. Have faith.
There are many times when we ask the Lord to take away our storms, but they continue on and on. He is not ignoring us. He may not take away the storms when we ask, but he does give us the strength to weather them. He knows what we need and he will provide. Lean on Jesus faithfully in these difficult times and he will carry us though.