Summary: When you have Jesus on the boat with you it makes the storms of life more managable
As we look at the text today we find Jesus preaching and teaching on the waterfront. So many people had come to hear and see Jesus that He had to get in a boat and go out just a little so that everyone could see and hear what He was saying. When Jesus is done for the day He stays on the boat and they head to the other side followed by several smaller boats.
The scripture tells us that as they were crossing a storm arose and started filling their boat with water, some translations say that a storm with Gale force winds came upon them. Now gale force winds are between about 30 and 60 mph. Imagine what that would have been like for those men in that Galilean Fishing boat. They were being tossed about and water was swamping them.
Now I don’t rightly know exactly what the disciples did when the storm came and the text doesn’t say if they woke Jesus immediately or tried to ride it out. I do know what I would have probably done if we had hit a storm and the boss was asleep. 1st since I can’t swim I would have put on my life jacket, then I would have started bailing water, ( little can and act like bailing then get 5 gallon bucket) and maybe would have given some other guys paddle so that we could stay on course. After exhausting all my efforts then I would have went to Jesus and said “Come on, wake up, don’t you see we are sinking? Don’t you care? We could use a little help here!!!!
Don’t laugh because you know that’s exactly how it goes in our lives. We hit a storm and start sinking. We keep paddling and bailing just keeping ourselves afloat. We tackle storms in the natural self-thinking I got this if I could just do this or that everything will calm and be better. We depend on all of our own resources until we become so tired we can’t paddle and we can’t get a big enough bucket to bail. And then we cry out, “Help me Lord!!! Don’t you see me struggling? Don’t you even care?”
I want to clarify something, just because Jesus is on board doesn't mean we won’t travel through some storms .When we Take up our cross and follow Jesus we are not promised that life will always be easy. Jesus told his disciples that they would be hated and persecuted. Jesus said blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Following Jesus isn’t always going to be easy we are told that we will be persecuted, insulted, and lied on because of Him. And yes the storms will come
And it’s strange, usually when the storms come we ask where is Jesus? Where is Jesus when we or a loved one gets diagnosed with cancer? Where is he when a loved one dies? Where is he when someone has a stroke or heart attack? Where is he when we have problems with our children? Where is Jesus when everywhere we look we see hate and violence? Where is Jesus during the storm, doesn’t he even care?
I’ll tell you where he is. He is in the boat with you. He’s right there ready and willing to step in. When we cry out “don’t you even care!!!? He says “Yes, I care, Hush be still” and the storms start to subside, chaos begins to calm and our life begins to center. When you face the storms of life Jesus is right there, he is bailing water with you, he is paddling with you and when you just can’t go on any longer and you realize that you can’t do it alone and cry out as blind Bartimaus did “ Jesus Son of David have mercy on Me !” Jesus stretches out his hand and says peace be still and the storms will begin to subside, the wind will begin to calm, the rain will slack up and stop. The raging storm will become to you as a gentle spring shower. You find that peace that surpasses all understanding.
Jesus said to his disciples “why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Even though they had witness all the great things Jesus had done the were still afraid even though Jesus was right there in the boat with them. They needed to hear his voice and see him take action, they were afraid even though Jesus was on board.
When you realize Jesus is in the boat with you and you don’t have to ride out the storms of life alone it helps us not to fear them as much. The storm may still be there but you realize that everything is going to be alright because Jesus is in the boat and he can control the wind and the sea. You reflect on the storms he’s already brought you through and realize that your ship isn't going to sink because Jesus is on board.