Sermons

Summary: How do we react in the storms of life - like Jesus or like the disciples

Luke 8:22-25 (revised version) 15-02-04

Briningham and Binham

Our Gospel reading this morning is the story of Jesus stilling the storm on the Sea of Galilee as it is better known.

Three things strike me from the passage:

1. Jesus’ attitude in the storm

2. The disciples’ attitude in the storm and

3. Our attitudes to the storms of life

Background

The Sea of Galilee often has storms. It is situated 700 feet below sea level and adjacent to high mountains.

Cold air from the mountains is apt to sweep down

through the gorges to the east. And so it can whip up a storm in a short time.(taken Tyndale NT Commentary "Luke" -Leon Morris p.169.)

So it wouldn’t be surprising if the sailors on the ship ran into a storm. What was surprising was Jesus’ attitude in the storm. He simply slept.

1. Jesus’ attitude in the storm

Have you ever wondered why Jesus was asleep?

From the parallel passage in St. Mark’s Gospel (Mk 4:35-41) we see that Jesus had been teaching that day and he was tired.

I know that even if I had been utterly exhausted, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep on a boat during a howling gale. I’d be too worried about the boat sinking.

But Jesus wasn’t so utterly exhausted, despite being tired from a hard day’s teaching. What was the key to his sleep? I think it was because

he was utterly at peace in the hands of his

heavenly Father.

Because, as we read elsewhere in Scripture Jesus actively trusted God for his destiny.

2. The disciples’ attitude to the storm

What was the disciples’ attitude in the storm?

They were worried and tried to sort the problem out on their own.

Yet in the end, these hardened sailors turned to the Nazarene carpenter for help.

I have often wondered why Jesus told his disciples off for their lack of faith? After all, wasn’t it faith to ask Jesus for help?

I think the rebuke is because they didn’t wake

him up earlier – before the storm got too wild

for them to handle.

Perhaps the disciples thought they could deal with

the problem themselves - without having to disturb Jesus.

But that is not what the Christian life is all about.

The disciples were not called to start with God

and then live on in their own strength. They were called to start and continue with God.

Story: I am amazed to find people who tell me that they don’t pray about things because they think their problem is too insignificant to bother God with. They think that he is too busy with other things.

But that is not how God sees it. He wants us to

have a childlike relationship with him.

Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 18

"Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of God.Therefore whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven" (Mt 18:3- 4)

Having to humble oneself to have the trust of a little child seems to be a paradox. Yet the greatest saints have had the greatest trust in their God.

And we can trust God to give us good things. And he is concerned for the little things of life too.

Jesus himself put the matter like this:

"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a

fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he

asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:11-13)

We are called to ask God for everything we want and need. You might even find that Yet God is even interested in our finding a parking space in Norwich on a Saturday morning!

3. Our Attitudes to the storms of life

And so - what is our attitide to the squalls and storms of life?

We can be assured that when we bring our problems to the Lord he will give us peace - the same peace that Jesus had as he slept in the storm.

Story: You might have wondered why I chose

as one of our songs this morning the hymn, written

by Horatio Spafford “It is well, it is well with my soul” this morning.

I chose it becasue it has a very sad and yet inspiring story behind it.

Horatio Spafford was a Chicago lawyer who lost everything he owned in the great Chicago fire of 8th October 1871 and shortly after his only son died.

Then, in November 1873, Anna Spafford, Horatio Spafford’s wife and her four children, Maggie, Tanetta, Annie and Bessie set sail in the French liner, “S.S. Ville de Havre” -the most luxurious ship of its day, from New York to England.

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