Luke gave a powerful account of how Jesus wanted to go over to the other side of the lake while they were out in a boat one day. One of the many things I love about Jesus, is that He always know when to make the right moves. There was purpose in Him wanting to cross to the other side.
Luke 8: 22-39
It’s interesting to note how as they left for their journey, Jesus laid down for a nap! My first thought was ok… so Jesus says let’s go on this trip and then… He falls asleep. Hmm. Wasn’t it His idea to cross to the other side? Why did He fall asleep? Isn’t He supposed to be awake so He can tell us if we’re going the wrong way? What we must realize is that there is purpose in everything… just like there was purpose in Him falling asleep. He had to “fall asleep” for the storm to come.
Has God ever told you to do something and the minute you started doing it you begin to feel alone in what you’re doing? What happened next after Jesus fell asleep on the boat, is very enlightening. “A fierce storm developed that threatened to swamp them, and they were in real danger” (v. 23). Real danger?!!! I could hear myself muttering inwardly, “Jesus, this was your idea to cross to the other side, first you fall asleep… and now a storm? Oh for crying out loud!” The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there was also purpose in the storm – and the purpose was two-folded.
Firstly, the storm was a test for the disciples to assess where their faith was at – that’s why Jesus asked them after He calmed the storm, “Where is your faith?” – it was examination time. Similarly, our storms today are meant to have us examine our faith. Use your storm to assess your faith level and keep reminding yourself that Jesus is always with you.
Secondly, the storm was sent to stop the mission that Jesus was about – to complete the miracle on the other side. Notice that the storm came when “Jesus was asleep”? There was real danger! It was extremely important for Luke to emphasize that Jesus was sleeping when the storm came. This emphasis is for our benefit. God knew that times would come when feel like He fell asleep after we started on our journey. This is never the case because He that keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep (Psalms 121: 4). Our life storms bring about real danger. They’re sent by the enemy to derail us and stop us from accomplishing what God wants us to do. How we handle our storms is directly linked to our faith in Jesus as we go through it. This is why our faith in Him is so important.
Jesus’ primary mission to the other side of the lake was to deliver a man who had been demon-possessed for a long time. It was the only thing He did before getting back into the boat and setting sail again across the lake. The people who witnessed the miracle were too afraid of what He did and asked him to leave them alone. Jesus knew the people would do this before He went over – yet He went any way – just to deliver the man to do what he needed to do.
Not surprisingly, the man who was delivered wanted to go back with Jesus but was told no. Why would Jesus say no? Why leave the man with the very people who asked Jesus to leave? The man became a seed that was planted among a group of people who were afraid of Jesus’ power. What better person to help unravel this societal fear than one of their own! Now the good news had reached to the other side of the lake and although the storm was meant to stop it, the mission was accomplished!
What storm do you have today that you think Jesus is sleeping through? Do your storms make you feel alone in your boat? Do you feel like you’re sinking and need to wake up Jesus? By all means, scream to Him for help if you have to… just don’t be derailed or prevent your miracle from happening. Use your storm to assess your faith and remind yourself that Jesus is right there in the boat!