Summary: Jesus proved himself to be master of the wind but he is much more than that.
Master of the wind
It was a dark and stormy night. The wind howled blowing the top off the breakers before they crashed back into the troughs below. The darkness was broken by momentary streaks of light as the clouds raced across the face of the full moon. Could it be? Yes it was hard to believe but there was a boat there. In the middle of this tremendous storm was a little open boat, barely afloat. Hard to believe but there it was. And if we were able to zoom in on that hardy little fishing boat we would discover that it was occupied by thirteen men twelve fighting for their lives and one sound asleep. And you’d have to ask yourself, how in the world did experienced fisherman who had fished this area all their lives get themselves into this situation?
Well the story is found in Matthew chapter eight. It had been a long day for Jesus and the disciples. Christ had just finished preaching the Sermon on the Mount, had cleansed a leper, and healed the centurion’s servant.
Peter’s mother in law had been healed and Christ had touched and healed many others. The multitudes had gathered around and evening was coming so he decided it was time to have a break and so the thirteen of them got into a boat which was probably either Peter’s or James and headed across the sea of Galilee. And then we read in Matthew 8:24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.
In the Sea of Galilee it could happen just that quick, because of the funnel shape of the valley and the shallow dept of Galilee a relatively calm sea could be swept into a deadly cauldron as Matthew said “Suddenly, a fierce storm struck”. Listen to how Mark describes the scene in Mark 4:37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
Sometimes I find myself identifying more and more with the apostles. I spent three years at sea and saw some dozy storms during that time. The smallest vessel I served on was a hundred and thirty two foot fishing boat and the largest was a six hundred and thirty foot oil tanker. And during that time there were two or three times that although I wouldn’t say I was afraid I was a mite concerned. Thirteen men in an open boat, twelve terrified and one is asleep.
Now he’s not just resting, not just dozing, not just a nap, this dude is sound asleep. Now if you’ve never tried to sleep on a boat in a storm you don’t know what you’re missing. You can pick one of two position to sleep in, either your bunk will be fore and aft that is your head will point toward the bow, that’s the pointy end. And if your bunk is like that your entire night is spent with your head pushed up against the wall and then your feet, you wake up six inches shorter then when you went to bed.
The other way you can sleep is thwart ships that is side ways and if that is the way your bunk is situated then you spend the entire night trying not to roll out on the deck. Which ever way you sleep you are like a coiled spring and you wake up in the morning with sore elbows and knees from bracing yourself. And so that is the situation that Christ was sleeping in compounded by the fact that it was an open boat and so Christ must have been wet as well as uncomfortable. And in
Matthew 8:25 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
Now I don’t know why they woke him up. But it reminds me of a story about a fellow who was being interviewed for a job as a truck driver and the boss asked him, “what if you had to drive from here to Toronto, pick up a load and drive back” “well that’s easy” came the reply “my brother’s a truck driver too so I’d take him, one of us could drive and the other one could sleep.” “Ok, then” said the boss “what would happen if you were coming down a long steep grade in your truck, and your brakes suddenly failed?” “Well I’d wake up my brother” “why in the world would you wake up your brother” “because he’s never seen a real good accident before.” Maybe they woke Christ up because he had never seen a sea disaster before.
Well Jesus woke up rubbed the sleep from his eyes and said
Matthew 8:26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Now it doesn’t tell us what their answer was but knowing Peter the way I do I would suspect that his reply was something like “Oh no particular reason, but while you were getting your beauty sleep we were in the process of sinking. You think maybe we’ve put all this water in here to wash the hull down. Boy sometimes carpenters ask some really dumb questions”