Posted by Merissa Vosloo

“And the men marvelled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” Matthew 8:27

 Over the three years that Jesus lived with and taught his disciples, they very rarely understood who Jesus really was because they kept interpreting Jesus’ actions through their own desires and ideas. Their desire and idea, that Jesus had come as a military saviour for Israel. Even after all his teachings, his death and his resurrection, the disciples still asked, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6)

There was one particular event that was so spectacular that even the disciples, in interpreting the event, put aside their own desires and ideas, and saw who Jesus really was. Ironically it is one of the stories that keeps being interpreted in our modern day through our own desires and ideas, thus missing who Jesus is. And in some extreme cases, forgetting all together that this story is all about Jesus.

The story, Jesus calming the storm, which is recorded in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25.

Why did the disciples put aside their own desires and ideas? This event was such a massive showcase of Jesus’ divinity that the disciples had no choice but to interpret the event as it was intended. What did Jesus do that was so spectacular? He calmed a sea storm. In the worldview of the day, the sea was all that was anti-God. A stormy sea was the chaos of sin. A sea storm, representing the chaos of sin, stood in opposition to God. A space in which no human stands a chance of over powering. Yet, Jesus calmed the storm. The disciples, in the boat, were not simply amazed that the physical powers of the storm subdued, the primary shock was that this man has power of the chaos of sin. He is stronger than sin and Satan, and the only being stronger than sin and Satan is God! The disciples came face to face with who Jesus was. He was God. This explains their mutual response of, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him” (Matthew 8:27).

How can we make this event not about Jesus? By interpreting the story through our own ideas and desires, wanting Scripture to talk directly to us and about us. In doing so making the point of this story to be that Jesus can calm any personal crisis (a storm) as he calmed that storm[1]. Ironically falling into the trap of the disciples – perceiving the truth of Jesus through our own desires and ideas.

As you continue on in this week, therefore, in your own walk with the Lord, are you in the same boat as the disciples? Have you had an experience or moment in which you have been fully confronted with the reality of who Jesus is that you have put aside your own desires and ideas and simply just been amazed at who Jesus is.

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to read the Bible but not through my own ideas and desires, to be fully alert to the leading of your Spirit. Knowing that your word can bring both encouragement and rebuke. Help me to grasp a bit better this week who you really are, confront me with your majesty that I cannot but see you and know you.

 

 

[1] It is true that Jesus can intervene, stop and carry us through personal crisis’s. But this is not the main point of Jesus’ calming of the storm.