Saturday

10 February 2018

Luke 8:22-25

“He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?’” (v. 25)

Psalm: Psalm 20


Background

In this passage, the gospel writer tells of the power of Jesus over nature itself – a power that points to the authority of Jesus.

The story begins with Jesus asking his disciples to take him across to the other side of the lake (verse 22). As the boats set off, Jesus falls asleep (verse 23). Although the text doesn’t tell us, we can imagine that Jesus was in need of rest and so takes a nap at an opportune time.

It must have been a particularly deep sleep because a windstorm swept over the lake and began to flood the boat (verse 23). Such storms happened regularly on Lake Galilee and the disciples feared that the boat would be swamped. Knowing that they were in danger, the disciples wake Jesus with the shout, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” (v. 24)

In response, Jesus rebukes the wind and the waves and a great calm comes over the lake. This demonstrates Jesus’ power; just as Jesus can heal the sick and cast out demons, so he can silence the weather with a word.

Jesus turns to the disciples and asks, “Where is your faith?” Knowing the care and compassion of Jesus – and knowing his power – the disciples ought to have trusted their Lord, even in a situation that seemed dangerous. Jesus, after all, was with them in the boat.

The passage ends with the disciples querying the identity of Jesus, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?” We know from Scripture that only God has such power. As the psalmist puts it in a celebration of God’s power, it is God who “made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed” (Psalm 107:29).


To Ponder

  • In the midst of the storms of life – or literal storms! – how do you keep faith in Jesus?
  • What does Jesus’ authority reveal about his relationship to God?

Bible notes author

Ed Mackenzie

Dr Ed Mackenzie is the Discipleship Development Officer for the Methodist Church and an Associate Lecturer at Cliff College. He lives in Derbyshire with his wife Ali and their two sons.