“Wind and sea at his beck and call!”
The strangest thing happened yesterday. I have to tell you this story. I would never have believed it if I had not been right there on the boat. Every day with Jesus is just amazing, but today . . . I’m not even sure I can make you believe this. I’m still running through it in my head. Thomas and Andrew and I compared notes all the way back from the docks tonight.
It all started this morning as we left the synagogue. Right in the middle of the crowd, a leper walked up, and Jesus healed him on the spot. Then a Roman soldier stopped us and talked with the Master about his servant. When we got to Peter and Andrew’s house, Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law. She’d had a 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. Somehow, Jesus managed to teach us about the kingdom of Heaven even when He was just playing around with us.
As we left the house, we found a multitude of people pressing in at the door. The sick and infirm covered every inch of yard and street. There were beds and stretchers and people 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, touched, loved, and cared for every single one of them. He spoke their names. He touched their wounds. He held their hands. He rebuked the demons. He didn’t leave until every single person was whole.
What an amazing day it was! Right? But there was more to come! I thought we would spend the night at Peter’s house, but Jesus headed down to the docks. He climbed right on Zebedee’s boat—the one James and John 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 lay down on the cushioned bench across the back. He was asleep in minutes.
Suddenly, the wind picked up, as it often did on the Sea of Galilee. Before I knew it, the waves went crazy, crashing over the sides of the boat. The water rose to my knees in minutes. Peter, Andrew, James, and John ran bow to stern, port and starboard, yelling words I didn’t understand. After all, they practically lived on boats.
They told me to grab this, haul that, crank the other thing. I’m a tax collector! What do I know? They shouted to me to wake Jesus before He drowned.
We all screamed to Jesus, while two of the boys tried to ready the lifeboats. The sea opened wide, threatening to swallow us whole. I thought we were going to die.
Finally Jesus awoke and dropped His feet down into the water on the deck. He stretched as He rose slowly to His feet, like He wasn’t quite awake yet. We continued to shout:
“Master, save us! We’re going down!”
“Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?”
“Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
At that moment, the most astonishing thing happened. He looked over the port side of the boat, just noticing the storm crashing around us.
“Hush! Quiet down,” He said.
In an instant, the sea was as flat as glass. It was as though the smallest ripple would shatter the perfect reflection of holiness that surrounded us on every side.
He turned to us, and I could not read the look on His face. Was He angry? Amused? Was He just exasperated with us? Honestly, I’m still not sure. I was in shock.
“Why were you afraid?” He asked. Then I looked down and noticed the deck was dry. “Where is your faith?”
I looked over at Thomas, and I think we said in, unison, “Who is this? What kind of person can talk to the wind and the sea and they obey?”
I’m still trying to figure out what He meant. He asked us where our faith was. He wanted us to see that waking Him shouldn’t have been necessary; we should have been able to deal with the storm ourselves.
He was so calm. I think He actually went back and finished His nap, but I’m not sure I will ever be able to sleep again. With three simple words, the peace that let this man sleep in a storm silenced the wind and the waves.
What manner of man is this?
To read the original story, see Matthew 8:1-27, Mark 4:35-41,
and Luke 8:22-25.
Copyright - Benjamin Nelson - 2015
The story above is a chapter from my book Encounters With Jesus, which is a compilation of forty such stories. It takes the reader from Christ's conception to His resurrection through the eyes of dozens who were touched by His ministry.