Yesterday the strangest thing happened. I have to tell you this story. I would never believe it if I had not been right there on the boat. Have you ever had one of those days when you feel like if you recline at dinner you will be asleep before the bread makes it to the table? Seems like the pace is getting worse instead of better, and the crowds grow every day.
But every time I see him touch an oozing wound or straighten a crooked limb, well, I just can’t get enough of this. Every day with Jesus is just amazing, but today – today – I am not even sure I can make you believe this. I am still running through it in my head. Thomas and Andrew and I were comparing notes all the way back from the docks tonight.
It feels like it has been a week, but it all started this morning as we left the synagogue with the leper. Right in the middle of the crowd up comes this leper, and Jesus heals him on the spot. Then this Roman stops us and talks with the Master about his servant. When we got to Peter and Andrew’s house Jesus healed Pete’s mother-in-law. Seems like she has had that fever for months, and just like that she was back to serving us Sabbath dinner.
We spent a few blessed hours around the table laughing and talking and always learning. It feels like even when Jesus is playing around with us He is teaching us about the kingdom of Heaven.
As we left the house we found that everyone in town was pressing in at the door. Every sick person was there – there were beds and stretchers, and people just lying in the dust. Here and there were men and women who looked possessed.
Mind you, it was already after sunset, but Jesus went to each one, He asked what they needed, and He ministered, and touched, and loved, and cared. He spoke their names. He touched their wounds. He held their hands. He rebuked the demons. He did not leave until every single person was whole.
So you are thinking what an amazing day, right? But I haven’t told you the best part yet. I am thinking we will just crash at Peter’s house. But Jesus starts heading down to the docks. He climbs right on Zebedee’s boat that James and John had brought up a few days ago.
Jesus asked John to head for the other side of the lake, and then He went to the stern and lies down on the cushioned bench across the back. He must have been exhausted because He was asleep in minutes.
Suddenly, as it often does on the Sea of Galilee, the wind picked up, and the waves were instantly going crazy, crashing over the sides of the boat. The water was swelling up to my knees in minutes, and Peter, Andrew, James, and John (these guys practically live on boats) they were running bow to stern, port and starboard, yelling words I didn’t understand.
They started telling me to grab this, haul that, crank the other thing – I am a tax collector – what do I know? They were shouting to me that I should wake Jesus. “The water was rising and we don’t know what to do – wake Him before He drowns!”
We were all screaming to Jesus while two of the boys were trying to get lifeboats ready. The boat was beginning to sink, and we were going to die.
Finally Jesus is roused, He awakes, drops His feet down into the water on the deck, kind of does this stretchy thing like He’s still waking up. Meanwhile we are all shouting: “Save us, Lord; we are going to die!”
“Teacher, don’t You care that we are going to die?”
“Master, Master, we are going to die!”
At that moment the most astonishing thing happened. He just looked over the port side of the boat, as if He just noticed the storm and said “Hush, be still.” Instantly the sea was as flat as glass, as though the smallest ripple would ruin the perfect reflection of holiness that had suddenly overcome the entire sea.
He turned to us, and I could not read the look on His face, was He angry, was He amused, was He just exasperated with us. Honestly I am still not sure – I was in shock. He asked “Why were you afraid?” It was then I looked down and noticed the water had even left the decks. He continued, “Where is your faith?”
I looked over at Thomas and I think we said it at the same time “Who is this, What kind of person can talk to the wind and the sea and it obeys?”
As I am sitting here gathering my thoughts from this most amazing of days, I am still trying to figure out what He meant. He asked us where our faith was. It was almost as if waking Him shouldn’t have been necessary, like we should have been able to deal with this storm ourselves.
He was so calm, I think He actually went back and finished His nap, but I am not sure that I will ever be able to sleep again. It was almost as if the peace inside this Wonderful Man traveled into the atmosphere as He spoke those three simple words.
What manner of man is this?
What manner of man is this?
If you enjoy these first person accounts you can find more under the heading “Encounters“