The Book of Luke, The Stilling of the Storm, Part II Ė Lesson 104
Luke 8:22-25, Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. 23But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. 24And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
As we study the Gospels and in particular the Gospel of Luke we can learn much from our Lordís responses to the actions of men.
In our study of this passage concerning the stilling of the storm it is easily revealed that the Lord Jesus Christ does not respond to the actions of men in the same way that we would respond.
When we respond to the actions of men our responses are always wrapped up in self preservation of one sort or another.
Self is always in the equation of our response whereas that is not true in the response of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ always responds to men with that which adds to the spiritual life of men.
In this passage concerning the stilling of the storm we see men in panic, men in fear of their lives, men who know in their hearts that the boat in which they trust will sink very soon and they with it.
They are looking for salvation of the physical body and they want it right away.
This is a ďnatural manĒ reaction to events, the preservation of the physical over that which is spiritual.
And because of this our response to the storm most likely would be the same as these men.
We too would be in panic and in fear of losing our lives.
But the truth we are to learn from this passage is not how these men responded to the storm but how God expected them to respond to the storm.
And therefore we are to notice the response of our Lord to their panic.
It would not be our response to such events because our thoughts, our ways, without the mind of Christ, are not like the thoughts and ways of God.
Isaiah captured this when he wrote the Word of God in:
Isaiah 55:8, 8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9For as the heavens
are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Notice upon what Godís thought are based.
They are based upon the heavens, they are based upon eternity.
Notice upon what manís thoughts are based, they are based upon the earth, that which is temporal.
Therefore the response of Jesus Christ to the crisis in his disciples lives is based upon things heavenly, things that are eternal.
We see this heavenly pattern of thought demonstrated in the response of Jesus Christ to the panic of his disciples when instead of showing sympathy or compassion to these poor disciples he rebuked them for having little faith.
Sympathy or compassion is necessary at the right time but not at a time where fear is expressed instead of faith.
What a lesson this is to us who so quickly fall into the mode of yielding to unbelief in others instead of encouraging faith in the Lord.
Others may express similar panic from circumstances in life but instead of promoting faith in the Lord we sympathize and show pity.
This is not the mind of Christ.
The mind of Christ always encourages faith in Godís provision and discourages the leaning to oneís own understanding.
All that the disciples understood were the great winds and waves which threatened their lives.
Their eyes were on the wind and waves and not upon the Master asleep in the boat.
Hadnít the Master said, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake?
He had not said perhaps or maybe but he had said that they would go over to the other side of the lake.
But they soon forgot his word as the wind and waves clamored for their attention.
They were under the circumstances and out from under the word of God.
They had not yet come to an understanding that every word of Jesus Christ was true.
Their Lord spoke in no casual manner but when he said Let us go over unto the other side of the lake it meant that they would reach the other side of the Lake.
No wind or rain had power to hinder his word.
The action that the Lord Jesus Christ expected of his disciples was trust his word regardless of the circumstances.
Trust is not to vanish in times of crises but trust is to continue regardless of the situation in which you find yourself.
The response of Jesus Christ to the panic of the disciples tells us in no uncertain terms that there is to be no vacation from trust in the Lord.
No vacation due to circumstances, even life threatening circumstances, but trust is to be continual in the life of Godís children.
We are not to put on trust and take off trust but trust is to be in good times as well as difficult times.
This response of the Lord to the fear of the disciples tells us that there is never a reason for fear in Godís people for Godís grace is sufficient in every situation.
Godís grace is sufficient for his children to do his will regardless of the circumstances.
This shows us that faith is basic for those who would be disciples of Christ.
The story of the stilling of the storm is the account of our Lordís looking for faith in His disciples but only finding fear.
He did not expect them to do anything in the midst of that storm but to trust in Him.
But instead of trusting in him, they rebuked Him for His lack of caring and activity on their behalf.
This is a normal response of the natural heart, that of rebuking God when God does not bail you out of a difficulty.
God does not bail you out of a difficulty but expects you to trust him in that difficulty.
Therefore the disciplesí lack of faith, not their fear, was viewed by our Lord as a most serious problem.
The Lord firmly rebuked them for their unbelief and for their fear.
For faith is fundamental or basic for those who would be followers of Christ.
Faith is that for which our Lord seeks (cf. Luke 18:8
Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?).
It is by faith that we are saved from our sins (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 3:22).
We are to live by faith (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11).
Whatever is not of faith is sin (Rom. 14:23).
It was through faith that Abraham was saved(Romans 4), as it was faith that sustained all of the heroes of the faith named in Hebrews chapter 11.
It is faith from which obedience flows (Romans 16:26).
It is by faith that we stand (2 Corinthians 1:24).
Faith is the shield which protects us from satanic attack (Eph. 6:16; cf. 1 Peter 5:9).
To sum it up, without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
Failing to trust in Christ dishonors and displeases Him and is harmful to men.
The discipleís lack of faith was dishonoring to Christ for it showed that the disciples did not see Him as the Son of God and the Creator and Sustainer of the universe (cf. Colossians 1:16-17).
Their question after the stilling of the storm revealed this.
What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
And not only that but all the worry and fear and distress that the disciples went though was unnecessary and harmful to their well being.
We see in this event that faith involves a decision for which men are responsible.
Our Lordís rebuke of His disciples, indicates that the disciples were expected to have faith, and were held accountable for failing to have faith.
We know that faith is a gift of God but it is a gift which may be received or refused.
Faith involves manís choice.
Romans 10:17 tells us that ÖÖfaith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.