Summary: With Jesus command, His disciples started out to do just as He told them. However, on the way, something happened. There arose a great tempest or storm, and the boat they were in was covered with waves. They were afraid and lost sight of what the master t
Matthew 8:18 Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave a command to depart to the other side.
19. Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, "Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.’’
20. And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.’’
21. Then another of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’’
22. But Jesus said to him, "Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.’’
23. Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him.
24. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep.
25. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!’’
26. But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea. And there was a great calm.
27. And the men marveled, saying, "Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’’
Starting out with vs. 18. we see Jesus giving a command to depart to the other side. I would like to point out that it wasn’t a suggestion, it wasn’t a general statement of what He thought in His opinion should happen, but a very strong statement given as a command. I would also like to point out, these were Jesus disciples who traveled with Him, and saw Him in action on a daily basis. They saw the healings and miracles; they were used to the miraculous taking place.
With His command, they started out to do just as He told them. However, on the way, something happened. There arose a great tempest or storm, and the boat they were in was covered with waves. They were afraid and lost sight of what the master told them to do.
That happens to us sometimes as well. We get distracted by the circumstances and forget Who told us what we should be doing. Let’s imagine what would happen if Jesus were to appear in the flesh and tell us to do something. Would we believe that we could do it? Do you think that if He told you to do something that you actually could, or would you be fearful as the disciples were? Would you have boldly said we are going to the other side? Jesus said we could, so therefore we can. If the master tells you to do something, you not only can, but also will be able to complete what was given to you to do if you will just dare to believe what He said was true. The disciples did not believe, or they wouldn’t have been afraid and declare that they were going to perish would they? They collectively said we are going down! In Mark’s accounting of this voyage they even went so far as to accuse Him of not caring.
Mark 4:38b "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’’
Don’t be too critical of the disciples until you have put yourself in their place. Many Christians often do the same thing today. They get discouraged and blame God for their failures. Jesus was not to blame for their lack of faith. We as a society have gotten into the mindset that no one is to blame, young people are taught in school that there are no winners and losers, participation is all that counts. We as a society don’t want to be held accountable for our actions. If we fail it might injure our self-esteem, and nobody wants that to happen.
Jesus would not give them a false sense of esteem but showed them the truth. He always spoke the truth. Sometimes we have to put our feelings aside if we are going to learn. Is it better as Christians to have a false sense of esteem, or to grow up in the things of God? The truth is the truth, regardless of our feelings.
The disciples had taken this same attitude. "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’’ It’s much easier to blame God for our failures than to say we have missed it, or say Lord I don’t understand, please teach me. This same mindset that is prevalent in our society has carried over into the church. Many Christians don’t want to take responsibility for their actions or lack of understanding. They don’t want to say I missed it.
I have talked to many Christians who are mad at God for something that happened in their life. Others just as bad, say well, I guess it was God’s will to teach me humility. You better not even think of saying maybe it’s not God, but you. We all have to be open to correction and discipline if we are going to grow. God is never the One to blame, let’s accept that.