Earlier that day Jesus had restored the son of the widow of Nain but now that evening had come he went aboard a boat and headed across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly a fierce storm arose and waves began to crash over the deck. The disciples were terrified and rushed to Jesus, shrieking for him to save them. But Jesus was comfortably asleep on a cushion in the stern of the boat! Their cries for help woke Jesus who then very calmly rebuked them for being so easily frightened and chided them for their failure to trust him. Then he got up and ordered the wind and the waves to cease and everything became perfectly calm. The disciples shook their heads in amazement that even the wind and the waves were under his control.
From the standpoint of the disciples, Jesus’ reaction to the raging storm and all its commotion was remarkable. He was actually asleep with waves pounding over the rails. When they woke him up he censured them for their failure to trust him. One could argue that having seen Jesus perform numerous miracles they would have expected him to be fully able to handle the situation. But there was a lesson to be learned.
In our quest to learn how Jesus reacted to life’s situations we must ask why he did what he did. Granted it is speculation but it almost seems that he had planned the entire affair: he undoubtedly knew the storm was on its way and the fact that he chose to be asleep at the critical moment heightened their failure. It appears that once again he wanted them to understand that there was nothing in the created world that was outside of his control. And this basic fact is as important for us as it was for them. We need to live with the assurance that there is nothing outside the control of God. That basic insight should remove all fear from our lives. God is sovereign and he is in control.
What we should learn from the way Jesus handled the situation is that we need to be on watch for those opportunities where we by our confidence in God can help others to trust that God knows what he is doing. Jesus used the coming storm to teach trust in God. We can do the same. The truth is that we are mentoring (in the sense of influencing) others whether we want to or not because they are watching how we weather the storms of life. Let’s do it the right way and show by our steadfastness that God knows what he is doing and that there is always something to learn in every passing chapter of life.