Luke 8:23-24 says While they were sailing, he fell asleep. Gale-force winds swept down on the lake. The boat was filling up with water and they were in danger. So they went and woke Jesus,
I am a light sleeper, if anything rattles the house or makes a noise – I wake up. Jesus is on a small boat, in the middle of a frightening storm and he is asleep. Why? Because Jesus is exhausted.
I think sometimes we don’t fully appreciate the humanity of Jesus. Philippians 2:5–11 says that Jesus came unassumingly, that he set aside his divine attributes, that God became a man, and he did so humbly. So here, he is absolutely fatigued, exhausted; and I can tell you, as a pastor with a ministry that is far less demanding than Jesus’, it does get exhausting.
There is a limit to the number of hours you can work; and there is a limit to how far you can press yourself. There is a limit to, even though you love people, how many people you can serve continually. I get tired, but I have modern technology, a wife a family and a support staff – so I can’t even imagine the pressure of the ministry of Jesus.
Plus, a typical rabbi would have a synagogue in one of these small towns that would attract upwards of twenty people for the Scripture reading on the Sabbath. And Jesus has thousands that follow him wherever he goes.
Jesus is so exhausted, that he goes underneath into the hull of a boat. I tell you, when that looks like a good place to sleep – you’re exhausted.
“Who is this that even the wind and waves obey him?”
He’s a human. A human who gets tired, who feels spent, who has burned energy and needs to recharge. He’s a person who feels the pressure and burden of others and who allows himself to give away his energy in the loving and caring of others.
Then we have a storm, and we said last week that most of the disciples are fisherman, so we can imagine that they would have some experience navigating weather especially on a familiar lake, but at the end of it all – there is nothing humanly left that they can do. So what do they do? They wake up Jesus.
“Uh, we hate to bother you, we know you’re tired, but … funny thing… we’re all going to drown in a few minutes and we though you should know.”
Jesus opens an eyelid and shouts an order to the Earth and it obeys him. Jesus closes his eyes and goes back to sleep. Can you imagine a violent storm just stopping and water… and waves.. calm and quiet (snap) in an instant?
“Who is this that even the wind and waves obey him?” He’s God.
Jesus is the perfect combination of both God and Humanity. The author of Hebrews summed this up beautifully for us and I want this to be our mediation today.
We have a great high priest who passed through the heavens, who is Jesus, God’s Son; 15 because we don’t have a high priest who can’t sympathize with our weaknesses but instead one who was tempted in every way that we are, except without sin.
16 Finally, let’s draw near to the throne of favor with confidence so that we can receive mercy and find grace when we need help.
Hebrews says we have a Savior who can sympathize with our weakness and who understands our temptations and trials … and storms.
The Greeks had over 100 gods for the wind and water – that’s 100 gods to try to make relationships with, pray to, obey, appease… and perhaps 100 gods who don’t even give you a second thought.
We have one God, a God who loves us, thinks about us and a God who cared enough for us that he came to Earth as a man and experienced life as a man, a God who knows what it’s like to be exhausted, a God who has worked hard all day and come home tired.
Hebrews says “let’s draw near the throne with confidence so that we can find mercy and grace and help.”
Do you need help? Do you need a miracle in your life?
Because if you do, my advice is that you wake up the one who is in charge. You approach the one who has jurisdiction in all things. You go before the throne for help.
Remember, the Hebrews lived in a world where they expected God to show up – they expected God to interact in their lives – and I would argue that we should to. Not to test God like the crowds who asked Jesus for a sign, but more over, to approach the throne when the storms and trials come.
Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves. Jesus silenced both demons and nature and he did it, in order that God’s glory would be revealed. I believe miracle can happen in your life as well, so what does God need to silence – in order for you to see it?
What distractions does God need to silence to keep you on the path?
Perhaps you’ve tried everything you could think of, everything humanly possible to stop the wind and the waves, but now …you just need someone to tell it all to be quiet.
What storms can Jesus silence for you?