22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marvelled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”
Who Is Jesus?
Adult Sunday School at The Chapel’s McHenry Campus meets at 8:30 a.m. and is generally taught by Ken Gates. Yesterday he left me in charge and we looked at the person of Jesus. We asked the question, “Who is Jesus?” One of the members of Sunday School had suggested that we meet at 8:00 to prepare ourselves with prayer and another asked if we could mix silent reflection with corporate prayer. We started by focusing on Jesus. We repeated his precious name to ourselves as a means of focusing our minds. We brought him our needs and requests and we prepared our hearts to read Philippians 2:1-11. Rather than read it to ‘git ‘er done’ like many Americans, we read it slowly and read it three times. Each time it struck us with more depth. We shared the different phrases that seemed to resonate with us personally and then we asked the question the disciples asked in the boat, “Who is this?”
This question is the central question to the gospels. It is the central question to our lives. The disciples had seen him perform miracles in the lives of individuals, but they had not seen him overpower nature on this scale before. A person who can take a storm and make it cease has powers which only seem to be written about in fiction. That is why many, who lack faith, dismiss accounts like this one as fabrications composed by creative minds in order to teach some truth about God and His Son. However, many of us believe this is not a literary fabrication. It is evidence of exactly who Jesus is. We can go to him in a storm. We can trust him in any circumstance to take control and do what is right.
In the evening, yesterday, a group we have dubbed Broken Pieces came to gather for the second time. We feel called by God to share our stories of brokenness together and support each other. Last night one of those present felt led to have us pray for a little boy who is severely disabled after falling out of a window. We laid hands on him and prayed. Is Jesus the kind of man who can heal such a person? It is a stretch for my faith to pray in this way. However, because I believe that Jesus is the same man who calmed the storm, I believe Jesus can bring a boy back from the effects of a great disaster.
This morning my children listened to DVD 11 of Phil Vischer’s What’s in the Bible? The series has tough questions and it talked about how the apostles in Acts were saved in some instances and allowed to die in others. How can we tell if God will calm a storm or allow us to drown? Phil Vischer pointed out that sometimes God graciously gives us a foretaste of the future when all things will be as they are meant to be. There will be no more sickness, sorrow, or pain. He also said that there are times when Grandpa doesn’t get better, our dog doesn’t come home, or other terrible things happened. This is because we live in a world that is still deeply troubled by sin. God sometimes allows us to endure its affects, and other times he graciously lifts its affects from us. I pray that those in the Broken Pieces group will experience God’s grace and I know they will. Either the storms will be lifted or Jesus’ presence will be real as they ride through dark clouds and tumultuous waves. To know peace in every circumstance, we have to ask ourselves, “Who is this?” Then we have to follow him wherever he leads and he will give us one more piece of the answer.
Jesus, I want to see healing. I want to see miracles. I want to see storms calmed. I don’t know if my motives are for me or for your kingdom. I know that I do not like to see suffering and I trust that you don’t either. However, I accept that suffering is often the best scenario for growth. Please help me to know how to walk and to pray in the faith which you require in your disciples.
- Where do the disciples travel?
- How can such a storm happen on such a little lake?
- What does Jesus’ action teach about Jesus?
- What do you believe Jesus can do?
- How does your faith compare with that of the disciples?