Trouble in the Storm

Being around Jesus was always a time filled with expectations of the unparalleled. Anything could happen in a moment.

The sick were no problem to Him. Those with devils, incurable diseases, and handicaps were no problem to Him. The religious Pharisees were the only ones that were a continual problem to Him.

The Pharisees understood the law, therefore they could not understand grace. The same problem exists today in the mindset of many religious people.

Let’s go back in time and take a moment to look down over the Sea of Galilee from Mount Arbel on the west side. It was on the other side that the disciples had just told Jesus about the beheading and burial of John the Baptist.

Jesus then gets into the boat and says, “Let’s go to another area away from the people”. This is a very difficult situation to bear. A wonderful friend and the one who preached repentance and even baptized Jesus was now gone.

We are now looking to the east and we see oxcarts filled with sick, dying, lame, disabled, blind, and sad people. They are coming in huge droves along the ancient dust trails from far away.

On the northern side of the Galilee we see a huge gathering of thousands of people waiting. It looks like at least 5,000 in men alone, along with oxcarts and horse driven carts.

We hear a great noise of people rejoicing as a few little boats come up to the sea shore from the other side of the Sea of Galilee. As Jesus came close to people they were healed and their lives are now completely changed. The roar of rejoicing sounds like glorious thunder in the distance. There is shouting and dancing and people walking and running for the first time in their life! Hallelujah!

Evening was coming and the disciples told Jesus to send the people away to get food. Jesus said, “No, just feed them yourselves”. “We only have two fish and five loaves of bread,” the disciples replied. Jesus said, “Bring them to me and tell the thousands of people to sit on the grass”.

Jesus took the seven pieces of food, looked far into Heaven, and blessed and broke the bread. Jesus broke the bread so it could grow out of its crust/flesh. Can you hear the roar and the overflowing joy of the multitudes as the bread and fish started growing? It grew faster than the disciples could give it to the thousands.

I do not think our imagination could do justice in trying to comprehend all that happened here on this day! Over 5,000 men, plus women and children just experienced being in the presence of Jesus.

The excitement was so phenomenal and outright radical that Jesus had to, “Constrain His disciples to get into the ship, and to go before Him unto the other side, while He sent the multitudes away”.

Matthew 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. V.24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. V.25 And at 3AM of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. V.26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

Can we wrap our mind around this picture for a moment? This monumental day brought to Jesus the extremely sad news that His friend was beheaded. Then the power of heaven plummets upon the northern hillside of the Galilee with miracles and heavenly manifestations of surrealistic proportions and ends up feeding perhaps over 10,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Oh, Glorious Hallelujah!

Then, at three o’clock at night Jesus saw through the dark from the mountain that the disciples were in intense trouble with a sinking ship far in the distance sailing amidst an extreme storm and enormous waves.

This glorious Savior and unchangeable friend climbed down the mountain and stepped into the water. His feet stayed on top! Jesus walked toward them perhaps a few miles through the storm.

When they saw Him they thought He was a ghost and were very scared and cried out. When Jesus saw that they were afraid of Him, He immediately said, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid”.

What can we learn from this? Jesus is the light. He could see miles away in the dark. He cared for His disciples in the deepest night of trouble.

Jesus looked like a ghost when they were in trouble. The storm stopped when Jesus got into the ship. To the human eye in a time of darkness and trouble, Jesus and even His disciple can look like a ghost.

Jesus sees you long before you see Him. He cares for you in trouble!  Let not your heart be troubled!