Event 1 -
For those who want strength and comfort for their soul, as well as practical action in a faithful life, below are two true stories about Jesus the Christ.
May the Word of God profit you mightily by your reading it and mixing it with God’s gift of faith to you. Hebrews 4:2
Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness. Psalm 143:10 NKJV
“The righteous will live by his faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." Habakkuk 2:4, Hebrews 10:38
Here is the first of the two factual accounts that give good illustrations of storms in our lives and how to endure, persevere, and thrive to the end. They show the power of God and how, by dependency on God’s Power in a relationship with God His Way, through His only begotten Son (John 3:15-18) Jesus Christ, we will win to the end. (I want to see the second event.)
These two stories have the same theme. A real, physical storm in a boat on a lake. Both stories take place on the Sea of Galilee.
How could fierce storms on the Sea of Galilee catch seasoned fishermen by surprise?
Then the stories diverge. The first event has Jesus in the boat with His disciples. The second event has Jesus walking on the water during the storm, having a disciple walk on the water with Him, and a very surprising ending. Jesus is always very good and exciting. Let’s find out!
The first event – The first event –
This is a true story, I occurred around 27 AD. It is recorded by an eye witness and detailed reporters who interviewed the witnesses of the event. It is recorded in the Bible books of Matt 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25.
Full story -
That day when evening came, he (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. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. The waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. They were in great danger.
Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and said to the raging waters, "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?" In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."
What storms do you have in your heart? In your life? Do you perceive in your future?
Breakdown of the story –
Taking this apart we will see that the Lord Jesus Christ can calm all the storms of your life with His Word when you ask Him to do so with all your heart and life.
That day when evening came, he (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.
Jesus initiates the jaunt over the water to where the storm will be. His disciples and other boats are with Him. – It is always safer to be with the Lord Jesus Christ than not as we’ll find out.
This was a real storm. The howling winds, the raging waves, the tossing of the boats caused these seasoned fishermen to fear for their lives. They knew they were in great danger.
Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.
What’s Jesus doing? Sleeping. Is Jesus not caring? No. Is Jesus afraid of the situation? No. Is Jesus concerned that people are panicking? No. Is Jesus ignoring them? No.
Jesus is just sleeping on a cushion in the stern of the boat. Why is Jesus sleeping? Because He is tired. Jesus has just finished teaching and healing many different types of people all day and for days. Have you ever had to deal with a bunch of needy people who think you are the only one who can help them? I am sure you can relate. Well, in this case, Jesus is the One Who can always help and in just the perfect way. So Jesus is sleeping during this huge storm.
The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"
Who sounded the alarm? The disciples. Why? Because they thought they were going to drown. They were afraid for their lives. They thought they would die. Who did they contact for help? Jesus, their Master and Lord. Why? Because they trusted that Jesus could “save” them.
What situation are you in that you need saving from? Who do you think can help you? How about the Lord and Master of all men – the Lord Jesus Christ? (John 13:13, Luke 19:37-40, Ephesians 1:19-23, Revelation 17:14, Revelation 19:16) Cry out to the Lord Jesus Christ just as those who knew Him closely and personally did.
He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?"
What were Jesus first words? Did he say, “Don’t bother me?” No. Did he tell them to let him sleep some more? No. Did he say “Sit back and enjoy the ride?” No.
Instead Jesus made an assessment of his disciples. He saw their fear and diagnosed them as having little faith. Why was this diagnosis important for the disciples to hear? Jesus knew they needed to hear that their fear of their storm was caused by their lack of faith in God.
How much this can ring true with you and me! We fear the worst. Our fears are real. And we are right to go directly to the Lord Jesus and get His attention by our prayers calling on Him to supply our needs.
Then he got up and rebuked the winds and said to the raging waters, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
Did Jesus then begin to lecture them on faith? No. Did Jesus decide to do nothing since they had less faith than He did? No. What did Jesus do?
Jesus acted boldly, doing something to strengthen their faith in Him, the living God (Hebrews 1:3). The Lord Jesus responded to them as they need. God held nothing against them (Romans 8:1, James 4:1-3). The Lord Jesus Christ just lavished love on them by teaching them and caring for them. (1 John 3:1)
This requires a second look. What did Jesus do?
Then he got up and rebuked the winds and said to the raging waters, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. The storm subsided, and all was calm.
Jesus showed that He was in charge. Jesus proved that He was all powerful and the authority over nature. Jesus commanded the winds and waters to cease their striving. Nature obeyed Jesus Christ which demonstrated what He was saying during His life, “I and the Father are one." John 10:30
Jesus stood up in the boat. Was Jesus afraid of falling out of the rocking vessel? No. Did Jesus start ranting and raving to the noisy and rambunctious wind and waves? No. How did Jesus change the elements? By speaking His Word (Heb 4:12-13, Isaiah 55:8-11, John 1:1-3; John 1:14; John 1:18, Genesis 1:3, Matthew 28:18).
Is God asking you to cease your striving with Him and accept His total and complete Authority over you, knowing and trusting Him as the Good God He is?
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10
What was the result of Jesus’ Words to the wind and waves? The “wind died down and it was completely calm.” Was it partially calm? No. Were the waters still a bit unsettled? No. Was there a time lag of a few hours before Jesus’ Words took effect? No. It was suddenly, totally, and thoroughly peaceful. Was there any more turbulence for the disciples to fear? No. Who was the only One Who changed their physical environment? The Lord Jesus Christ.
He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
Jesus spoke to his disciples with pragmatic questions. Jesus had just stopped the events that prompted their fears, the raging storm. Yet they were bewildered. Now they realize that some One more powerful than the raging storm, which they greatly feared, is in their midst. Who should they fear more, the temporary storm or the eternal God? Who should you and I fear more? The eternal God. (fear/faith )
Jesus demonstrated that He alone is worthy of putting all of our trust and faith into. With all that power at His disposal, Jesus Christ only used it for good and for God’s glory. (Jesus' miracles)
In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."
The disciples had been living with Jesus for over a year by now, and they still hardly knew Him or His capability. Yet from what they see and know, Jesus calls them to have a deeper more encompassing faith and trust in Him for every area of their life.
The disciples had an impossible need. Jesus met them at their point of need and fully supplied their desires, even to the extreme (Philippians 4:19). Jesus blew away their expectations by stilling the storm completely. Higher are God’s ways than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). Jesus never let them down. God commands, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22
Notice the boats that were along side them in the beginning of the story? They also had the benefit of having their storm stilled by Jesus. It is always best to be in the boat with Jesus. The closer to Jesus Christ the better. Then you know you will hear His voice clearly and He will hear yours well. (Isaiah 59:2, John 10:14-18, 1 Peter 3:7,John 15:7)
When you are in Jesus’ boat, your needs are attended to quickly and well, but not necessarily your wants or pleasures. If you belong to Jesus, the Good Lord God Almighty treats you as His personal child which entails many things. You have direct access to Jesus as His close disciple or friend. (Friendship with God)
The boats floating near Jesus were blessed to be His proximity. You may find that your life is a bit “smoother sailing” when you are surrounded by followers of Christ. If you are near those who listen to Jesus well, you will see the benefits of their Lord God in and around their lives. You may even get jealous, which means you might as well get into the boat with Jesus if you want a special life and after life!! (Romans 11:14, Jude 1:17-23) Don’t you want to be in the boat itself and not just on the fringes? Noah had a boat, and he survived and thrived to the end during God’s Wrath on the world (Genesis 6:8). Jesus is our boat to get us out of this planet and into heaven with the Lord God Almighty!
If you find Christians to be abhorrent to you, please hear what God says regarding true Christians: “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” 2 Cor 2:15 You can be a New Creature in Christ.
How do you get into the boat with Jesus? Tell Him you want to be in His boat. Tell Jesus you trust Him enough to bring all of yourself to Him. Trust Jesus Christ with your heart. Don’t look to people are always less than God. click here for more: Sinners Prayer.
Are you a bit like the disciples? Do you see what Jesus does, but not really internalize Who He is and what He does? Do you see with your eyes, think with your mind, but not “see” the Lord Jesus Christ with your heart? If so, won’t you ask the Lord Jesus Christ to show Himself to you? To help you to “see” Who He is and to know Him as He is? You’ll never regret it. (New Creation, Romans 1:20)
Jesus says, “But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." John 10:38 “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” John 14:11 Jesus' Power
How big is Jesus to you? After stilling the storm immediately with a word, who are we to take the Lord Jesus Christ for granted, to put Him in a box of our own making of “inability, impotence, or lack of care”. God demonstrates His powerful Love to us daily in each of our lives.
Please ask Jesus Christ to send His Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your heart to “see” Him as Who He really is. You will be blessed by God when you do.
Storms on the Sea of Galilee - How could fierce storms catch seasoned fishermen by surprise?
The Sea of Galilee is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth, about 680 feet below sea level. It is about 8 miles wide and 13 miles long and relatively shallow, at the deepest part nearly 200 feet.
The Sea of Galilee is surrounded by hills that climb up to 2000 feet high, and Mt. Hermon on the north which rises to 9,200 ft high. These heights are a source of cool, dry air. Directly around the below sea level lake is semi-tropical with warm, moist air. This large difference in height between surrounding high land and the low lying sea causes large temperature and pressure changes. This results in strong winds dropping to the sea and funneling through the hills.
From May to October strong winds often sweep through the narrow surrounding gorges into this valley causing extremely sudden and violent storms. Since Sea of Galilee is small, these winds descend directly to the center of the lake with violent results. This shallow sea is “whipped up” by wind more rapidly than deep water, where energy is more readily absorbed, thus the waves are very turbulent. When the contrasting air masses meet, a storm can arise quickly and without warning. Small boats caught out on the sea are in immediate danger.
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