The Messiah was here, nobody could deny that. Earlier that day the Centurion’s servant had been healed, afterward Peter’s mother-in-law was healed, and when evening had come Jesus healed all who were brought before Him. As the disciples watched in awe, they knew they were in the presence of God.
“The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’” (Ellen White, The Ministry of Healing p.143)
Word was out, and the crowds began to gather. Miracles like this had never been witnessed in Israel. “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go!” shouted one of the scribes. The excitement in the air must have been electric. In the presence of the Savior, all was well. Demons were cast out, the sick were healed, and the Word of God was preached throughout the land. Immanuel was here; God with us.
But as the crowds began to increase, Jesus departed. His ministry of healing was to be demonstrated throughout the region; shared throughout the world. He boarded a nearby boat, followed closely by His disciples, and they set off across the Sea of Galilee. The disciples who were lucky enough to board with Jesus could rest assured they were safe in the arms of a loving Savior. But as the boat made way, a storm breached the horizon.
Seamanship was a way of life in those days. The crew of disciples included experienced sailors and fisherman, yet none were prepared for the magnitude of the fast-approaching tempest. They did all they could to secure the vessel, but the waves raged with such ferocity that they began to overtake the boat. The disciples were struck with fear as they realized the ship was going down. Searching frantically for the Savior, they found Him sleeping below deck. Awakening Him they cried, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
Christ arose. “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”, He asked. He rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Christ’s calm in the midst of such a storm demonstrated the peace that came from trust in His Father. He understood that God was in control, and that even a sparrow cannot fall to the ground apart from the Father’s will (Matt. 10:29). Jesus knew that storms in our life would arise, but that we must not lose faith. “In the world,” Christ says, “you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Lord, help me to navigate these storms with perfect trust in You. Help me to bring peace and hope to those around me struggling with fear and anxiety, just as Jesus did. Amen.