Summary: The Storm Jesus Calmed provides three indisputable themes that demonstrate that IT REQUIRES REAL FAITH AND NOT MERE PRETENSE TO FOLLOW THE LORD THROUGH STRONG WINDS ON DEEP WATERS.
Lessons from Storms in the Bible #5 -- July 29, 2001-- AM
STRONG WINDS ON DEEP WATERS
-- The Storm Jesus Calmed --
(1) Jim Nicodem took his two youngest kids to the Batavia quarry. It has a beautiful sand beach with shallow water. [Anyone can play in the shallow water.] To go out into the deep water and the high dives and slides, you’ve got to get a deep-water pass.
At the beginning of the year, 7-year-old Andrew got his deep-water pass, but it was not something he did easily. He’s a great swimmer; he just doesn’t like the pressure of having to do something in front of a couple of lifeguards.
That day, he said, "Dad, I don’t have my deep-water pass. I’ll just hang out in the shallow water." Mr. Nicodem said, "A break is coming up. Go over and tell the life guard you’ll swim for a new deep-water pass in a few minutes." He looked at his dad as if to say, "You’ve got to be kidding. I’m going to do this again?" But there was no argument to be had. When the break came, he swam for his deep-water pass, and he got it easily. The rest of the day, they had a ball together.
So there are times when it’s appropriate to demand something of our kids, though a good father considers the limitations of his child. Good dads take into account a son or daughter’s age or temperament or peer pressure or physical health or school struggles or popularity issues. --Adapted from Jim Nicodem, "The Father Heart of God," Preaching Today, Tape No. 152.
(2) The Lord considers our limitations and our need to expand. There are times when He has to direct us into deep water. If you want to launch big ships, you have to go where there is deep water. -- Glen V. Wheeler, 1010 Illustrations, Poems and Quotes, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing, 1967), p. 91. But you are wise to keep in mind that you cannot control the water.
(3) I am told that during the years 1014-1035 there ruled over England a Danish king named Canute. King Canute tired of hearing his retainers flatter him with extravagant praises of his greatness, power and invincibility. To him the words were exaggerated. They amounted to playing in shallow water and pretending to be able to control the ocean. He ordered his chair to be set down on the seashore, where he commanded the waves not to come in and wet him. No matter how forcefully he ordered the tide not to come in, however, his order was not obeyed. Soon the waves lapped around his chair. The water was real, the water was deep, the water responded to a different force, and Canute could do nothing about it. One historian tells us that, therefore, he never wore his crown again, but hung it on a statue of the crucified Christ.
This is appropriate, for whereas the Danish King could not control the deep waters, Jesus could. Jesus can control the deep waters and the mighty winds that stir them to frenzy. The Old Testament speaks accurately when it says “He calms the storm, So that its waves are still,” and “He stirs up the sea with His power, And by His understanding He breaks up the storm.” (See Psalm 107:29; Job 26:12.) We see this clearly in Luke 8:22-25.
PROPOSITION: IT REQUIRES REAL FAITH AND NOT MERE PRETENSE TO FOLLOW THE LORD THROUGH STRONG WINDS ON DEEP WATERS.
Any premise of human control over storm forces can legitimately be debated. However, here are Three indisputable themes from the storm Jesus calmed.
I. Theme #1 is THE PASSENGER THAT HAD A PLAN (Luke 8:22)
A. The plan was providential (on a certain day).
1. The Lord provided for the day’s circumstances. From the earthly perspective, this certain day merely proceeded in normal fashion after other normal days.
2. The fact that it was a certain day indicates that the providence of the Lord figured into the situation. Always, providence plays into the equation -- it is just more noticeable sometimes than at others. [See also Mark 4:35-36.]
B. The perpetrator was a passenger (He got into a boat).
1. The Lord got into the boat as part of His plan. He did not need a boat but His disciples did and He was concerned about teaching them this lesson. To do this, He had to go at a slower pace and make provision for them. He therefore went with them.
2. It was not the Savior’s way to show off or demonstrate how much more He could do than they could. Here He is developing them. “The Lord doesn’t take us into deep water to drown us, but to develop us.” -- Vern McLellan, The Complete Book of Practical Proverbs and Wacky Wit (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1996).