Jesus Calms the Storm
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
– Matthew 8:23-27
What kind of storm threatens you today?
Life in this fallen world serves up all kinds of problems, all the time. And some of those problems are life threatening like that storm.
Jesus rescued the people on the boat with him. But he also asked a puzzling question, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” My answer to His question might have been, “I don’t know, Lord. Maybe it was the big waves, swamped boat, and imminent drowning.” And then He took a very specific action to solve the problem. He spoke to the storm and rebuked it! He spoke to what we would think of as a big, blind, deaf, unthinking force of nature! Why speak to a thing that’s apparently not listening? Was that the faith Jesus wanted to see His disciples use? After all, He had been teaching them things like, “If you speak to this mountain,” in relation to their use of faith.
They certainly had enough faith to ask the right person to solve the problem. And He did solve it. But He seems to have wanted more from them. They were “the 12,” His own version of “Seal Team 6,” and He expected them to use the moves He had been teaching them.
If you are like me, you were not taught that the power of faith, the kind of faith Jesus chided the disciples for lacking, is often released through the spoken word!
Proverbs 18:21 tells us, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
This gives us all the more reason to be careful how we speak. I think that when we use foul language we do not only offend listeners, but we actually reduce the power of our words. We all have times when we need to speak to a situation. If the tongue intended to release the power of God has been weakened, it may not be able to rescue us at a critical moment.
One more example of faith combined with words
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
– Matthew 8:5-13
BTW, I’m preaching to myself, too. It’s time I clean up my speech. Now please excuse me while I have a few words with my car. 😀