Faith in Place – Mark Mitchell

November 27, 2017

“One day Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side of the lake.’ So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, He fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke Him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’ He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. Where is your faith?’ He asked His disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him.’” — Luke 8:22-25

 

Out there on the boat, the disciples cried out to Jesus, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown” (Luke 8:24). Meanwhile, Jesus was sleeping after an exhausting day of ministry. Who is the model of faith here? Jesus or the disciples?  

 

In the storms of life, different people operate in different ways. Personally, I’m a fixer. Fixers are the ones who try to organize people in the boat to bail water. Then there are others who don’t fix, they just deny. The storm hits, their life becomes chaos, and they say, “What storm? I don’t see a storm. Everything’s wonderful.”

 

Finally, there are people who don’t fix or deny, instead they blame. Usually they blame someone nearest and dearest to them. “Peter, why didn’t you listen to the weather report? It’s all your fault!” Often, the person we blame is God.

 

What does true faith look like? What do we see Jesus doing? He wasn’t fixing, He was sleeping. Once He woke up, He didn’t deny the reality of the storm, He stilled it. Instead of blaming others, He rebuked the wind and the waves. Not only is Jesus the object of faith, He’s the perfect picture of it!

 

Jesus teaches us what true faith looks like. Faith will rest in God’s promise when it seems He’s absent. Jesus could sleep in the storm because He knows nothing will get in the way of God’s Kingdom purposes.

 

After Jesus woke up and calmed the violent storm, we’re told of the disciples’ response: “In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him’” (Luke 8:25).

 

True faith depends on the greatness of its object. In the midst of the storm, many people say, “Have faith. You gotta believe. Everything happens for a reason.” But the Bible never tells us to simply have “faith.” The Bible tells us to have faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. You can have all the faith in the world, but if it’s in the wrong thing, you’ll sink.

 

Faith depends on its object. Don’t focus on how much faith you have, focus on who your faith is in. You can have a little faith on really thick ice and be fine. You can have a lot faith on real thin ice and you may drown!

 

That’s why the story ends with the question, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him.” The issue of faith is bound up in the issue of who Jesus is. Our faith is in the One who commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him. Our faith is in the God who became flesh and dwelt among us. Our faith is in the One who died and rose for us. Our faith is in Jesus Christ.

 

— Mark Mitchell, chaplain for the San Francisco Giants

 

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