By Cindy Bleuler Tucker
It was the end of a long, tiring day of ministering to throngs of people with a myriad of needs. Hungry and exhausted, the disciples looked forward to a respite from all the crowds following Jesus. When the Master said, “Let’s cross to the other side,” they looked forward to some quiet time alone in the presence of the Rabbi. Even as they got in the boat, they saw many following in their own sea crafts. At least, as they sailed in their boat, they could relax. Four of the crew was experienced fishermen, who knew the sea intimately. They could spend the trip reveling over all the miracles they had seen that day, and the joy of seeing lives changed for the better. He taught with the authority of a rabbi, but no ordinary rabbi. They had shared their teacher with the crowds of people, pressing in on every side. They could finally spend some quality time with him and discuss the finer points of his discourse. They would have only a few precious hours with Him until the crowds would gather again on the other side of the lake. At last a few hours of fellowship and rest would make a perfect ending to the day.
The gentle breeze and soothing rock of the boat lulled the exhausted master to sleep. As he rested, the disciples grew quiet.
Suddenly they heard a strange howling and the boat began to violently jerk back and forth. A fierce wind from the north was blowing up huge waves. The waves rose high above the boat, quickly filling it. The disciples leapt up and hurriedly grabbed jars, buckets , anything at hand and began bailing the water out of the boat. The water filled the boat quicker than they could throw it out. Even the seasoned fishermen among them had never seen a storm like this. They were in despair and looked to their teacher for help-he had done so many miracles that day-surely he could save them. Surely he knew their desperate situation!
They looked to the stern of the boat. In the midst of the careening boat, with water streaming over him, he was asleep, seeming to be totally unaware of the chaos around him!
“Teacher!” they cried. “Don’t you care that we are going to die?”
Calmly he stood up and faced the wind and water. With no fear and complete authority, he stretched out his arms. He rebuked the wind and sea as if they were unruly children.
“Silence! Be still!” Then he turned to his disciples and asked, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Perhaps he said it with sadness. Perhaps he thought, “After all you’ve seen today- all the healings, all the lives changed- do you still not know Who I am? Was he wounded emotionally when his beloved ones said, “Don’t you care if we die?” “Don’t I care?” he must have thought. “I care so much that I will be beaten, tortured, put to death, not to save you from mere physical death, but from eternal spiritual death. I will not only save your souls, but give you perfect bodies, in a new heaven and earth.”
Seeing that he not only had power over illness, but also over the elements of nature, the disciples were terrified. They were full of wonder and awe. They knew he was no ordinary man, but now they wondered, who or what exactly was he. “Who then is this? Even the wind and sea obey him!” Was he more than a man? Was he the Son of God?