There are four little verses in Luke 8 that encompass a surprising element of the journey with Jesus. Here are the first few verses (22-24):

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out.  As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.  The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

Let’s summarize what just happened:

  • We did what Jesus asked
  • He’s right here with us
  • We’re going to die

Okay, may be the disciples were overreacting a bit – or not. After all, they were seasoned fisherman who knew the power of a popup tempest. But whatever the final outcome might have been, they definitely were surrounded by a raging storm which, interestingly enough, they were experiencing solely because they did what Jesus asked. It was his idea to cross the lake.

This really pops the idyllic image of an easy Christian life. At some level don’t we all hope (dare I say, expect) that making the choice to follow Jesus will level the path and make life predictable and stable? Don’t we shy away from the possibility that doing what Jesus directs may actually bring challenges, even moments of distress?

Okay, let’s finish the verses (24-25):

When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”

So, let’s outline the entirestory:

  • We did what Jesus asked
  • He’s right here with us
  • We believewe’re going to die
  • Jesus demonstrates his power and authority
  • We are amazed and our faith grows

Let me encourage you to not be surprised when you do exactly what Jesus asks you to do and it seems to go south in a hurry. Hang in there. If you stay in the boat and call out to him you may be amazed at what happens.

Pastor Jim

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