Today’s Reading: Matthew 8:23-27, 9:35-38; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25; Psalm 48 and 93
Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields” (Matthew 9:35-38).
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them.
When Jesus sees our needs he has compassion on us. But how often do we feel like God does not care about what we are going through? How often does it feel like Jesus is in the back of the boat asleep during our storm?
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, DON’T YOU CARE that we’re going to drown?”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!” – (Mark 4:35-41)
When he saw the storms, he silenced them.
The disciples had watched Jesus do many miraculous things for other people. Now it was their chance for Jesus to do something miraculous for them. The disciples thought they were simply crossing the lake but Jesus knew there was more for them to learn. He wanted them to see things from the other side of the lake, see him from another perspective.
“Who is this man?”
Jesus knew his disciples were not fully aware of who he was, that they still underestimated him. I heard a friend recently say that Jesus probably knew it was storming. He chose to sleep while his disciples tried everything they knew how to do. They were fishermen and had been in storms before. Jesus was simply waiting for them to ask, waiting for them to stop trying on their own and ask him for help.
Oh, how often we are guilty of this! Troubles come into our lives and we try to take care of them in our own strength first. The winds and the waves threaten us and we grab a bucket and start throwing water overboard. When we have tried everything we know to do, we finally fall to our knees and do what we should have done first – we pray.
By calming their storm, the disciples began to better understand Jesus, which strengthened their faith making them more effective workers in his harvest fields. Now they understood that Jesus had power over creation, over the elements and over the storms.
The floods have risen up, O LORD.
The floods have roared like thunder;
the floods have lifted their pounding waves.
But mightier than the violent raging of the seas,
mightier than the breakers on the shore—
the LORD above is mightier than these! – Psalm 93:3-4
Jesus has power over the things going wrong in our lives, whether it is natural circumstances of this broken world such as storms or illness or whether it is the consequences of our own sinful decisions. Jesus is bigger than all of it. Let’s not underestimate Jesus today. Let’s make our first reaction to today’s situations prayer. The harvest depends on it.
“The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” – Matthew 9:38