Voice of Authority
For my twelfth birthday, my parents wanted to bless me with an unforgettable present, a day on a charter fishing boat. It was definitely one of the most memorable days in my life. I can still remember the anticipation as we headed out of the harbor. I was going to catch a big ol’ salmon. But once we cleared the jetty and hit the open ocean, the roller coaster began. Up a “gentle” swell (captain’s words) and then down. Up, down, up, down. One second my stomach was floating, and the next it was crashing back to earth. I spent the entire day with my head hanging over the rail, feeding the fish, and hoping for nothing more than to get back to the dock. And if the seasickness wasn’t bad enough, no one caught a fish that day, not even a nibble on their line.
The disciples had a much worse situation on their hands. As professional fishermen, they had been on the Sea of Galilee many times. They had their sea legs. One night after a full day of ministry, Jesus told His disciples to head across the lake. The moon and the stars shimmered off the mirror-like surface of the Sea of Galilee. After rowing for several miles, clouds rolled in, obliterating the heavenly lights and warning these men that a squall was approaching. As the winds increased, their progress across the lake slowed. Soon the placid water became more like a bucking bronco. As the whitecaps sloshed into the boat, it became more and more obvious to these rugged men that theirs was a very dangerous situation. And where was their leader through all the noise of the wind and the yelling of the men? Asleep!
Rushing to wake Him up, the disciples cried out, “Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?” They had witnessed Him heal some folks, but what could He do in this case? Get a bucket and begin bailing water? Or did they expect Him to grab an oar and help them make headway against the wind? To their amazement, “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!’” (Mark 4:39–41)
To put it into perspective, it would be like us watching a reporter at Crown Point trying to walk against 80 mph winds, when suddenly the camera shifts to a man exiting his car and shouting for the wind to stop, and instantly the wind quiets to a gentle breeze. No wonder the disciples stared at one another with their eyes bulging and their mouths open before they asked, “What manner of Man is this?”
My friend Mike Panto pointed out that the Lord was revealing more of His identity to the disciples through this episode, giving them a greater understanding of His power and authority. They had become convinced that Jesus was able to command disease to flee, but the wind? They never expected that! The longer we walk with Jesus, the greater our appreciation and love for Him and His work on the cross. As our understanding grows, we wholeheartedly believe along with the Apostle Paul that “He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:15–16) Therefore, Jesus has authority over biological systems and inanimate objects, in other words over every aspect of life.
All of us face storms, whether related to our finances, our job, our health, or something related to people around us. We might be personally blown and tossed or it might be a loved one who is. Like the disciples, it is wise to run to Jesus. Thankfully, the resurrected Lord never sleeps. He is fully aware of every gust of trouble that rises against us. As someone so wisely said, “Sometimes Jesus calms the storm around me. But He always calms the storm WITHIN me.”
For our orphans and widows, the storms in their lives began to abate as soon as our partners walked into their lives. Taking no credit for the ministries, they give all the glory to God for quieting the storms and bringing a sense of calm into the lives of these women and children.
If you haven’t yet given your heart to the Lord, ask another Christ-follower to help you do so. There is nothing like having Jesus in the boat with you!
By Marlon Furtado