We don’t have to look far into the past to see tragedy. Each year there are natural disasters, the killing of innocent children, war between nations, and very horrific crimes.
How can it be that in John 14:27 Jesus promises to give us peace that’s incomparable to what the world can offer us? How is it that He tells us don’t let your heart be troubled and don’t be afraid?
Jesus Teaches His Disciples a Real Lesson in Trusting & Having Peace
Like me, Jesus loved stories – difference is He loved to tell them. I love to listen to them. Jesus used His stories to tell hard, heavy-hitting lessons. He told the people stories about things they could identify with, like seeds, harvesting and farming. That really clicked with them – they understood the illustrations. These stories he called parables. And at the end of each parable, there was a moral to the story.
Mark Chapter 4 is full of parables. What’s so interesting in this chapter is that after telling parables all day, Jesus and His disciples were involved in a sortof real-life parable.
Jesus had been preaching all day – breaking down the word of God. He’s tired. He crawls in the stern of the boat and falls asleep. A big storm comes. I imagine that it must have been a fierce storm because the disciples are scared and they’re fishermen. Living on the water is what they do – it’s in their DNA.
As a result of the storm, the boat begins to fill with water. They go into panic mode. They are seeing the end of their lives. They rush to Jesus, wake Him up and say, don’t you care that we’re about to die! Jesus wakes up, peers out into the storm and with great authority tells the winds and the waves to be quiet.
I like to think in this moment, the disciples were in the middle of a real-life parable.
The Karate Kid
This scene, this encounter, reminds me of the Karate Kid, as he’s waxing the car: “Wax on, wax off.” Painting the fence: “Strong wrist, up and down.” And sanding the floor. It was never about the waxing; it was never about the painting; it was never about the sanding. It was always about the preparation. It was always about the lesson.
It was the same for the disciples in the middle of this storm. It was never about the winds or the waves. It was never about the storm raging around them. It was always about trusting in God.
In response to his disciples’ reaction to the storm, Jesus says, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
The disciples, absolutely floored at what is happening say to each other, “Who is this that even the winds and the waves obey Him?”
How Long Have You Spent With Me?
From Jesus’ perspective, He was likely thinking, “How long have you spent with me? How many miracles have you witnessed? How many times have you seen God make the impossible possible?”
When this situation happens, it’s not too far into Jesus’ ministry and his time with the disciples. But by this time, they had already done the following things together:
- Jesus had individually hand-picked them and invited them to follow Him
- Jesus had preached with authority in the synagogue, and he wasn’t formally trained
- Jesus had cast demons out of people
- Jesus had healed Simon Peter’s mother-in-law when she got very, very sick
- Jesus had healed a leper and a paralytic
- Jesus had gone to towns where the sick followed him to be healed and he healed them
I wonder the same for us. How long have we spent with God? How many times have we seen Him make the impossible, possible.
Maybe the disciples doubted Jesus’ power could extend to the winds and the waves. But in that moment, Jesus showed them that He had power, even over the winds and the waves. He showed them that His presence brought peace to the storms of life.
At the end of His ministry, before He ascended into heaven, Jesus gave His disciples some parting words of advice. He told them, “In the world, you will have trouble, but I have overcome this world.”
The Moral of the Story
That was the moral of the story.
The encounter with the storm was preparing the disciples for this moral to the story at the end of Jesus’ ministry.
He was telling them then and telling us now, in this life, there will be storms. There will be trouble. Don’t be surprised, don’t be alarmed, don’t be afraid.
In John 14:27 Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The world says peace is the absence of war.
Jesus says peace is the promise of His presence. His parting words in Matthew 28:20 were, “I am with you always even until the end of the world.”
The moral of the story to the disciples and to us is that there will be storms in this life.
Even in the middle of the storm, Jesus offers us the gift of peace – the gift of His presence.
It may be when we are feeling the hardest toss of the waves that we sense Jesus face our situation with authority and say, “Peace, be still.”
In the middle of the storms in your life, won’t you accept Jesus’ gift of peace?