I used to go to an all girls school where my first head teacher had an authority to her that was left over from the Victorian age. She was not approachable and was not to be messed with. I remember being in the first year of senior school, only 11 or 12 and she came in to teach one of our lessons. As a class we were not aware of the fact that she demanded that everyone stood when she entered a room. When she came in we were all respectful and sat quietly. She shouted at the class for insolence, left the room and then re-entered, we all, of course stood for her angry and rather pompus entrance. I never really liked her very much after that and was a little bit freaked out by her being anywhere near me just in case I was supposed to be doing something that no one had told me about.
The way I was shown authority has left a lasting, but faulty view. So this account in Matthew 8 changes that and shows me how to respond to genuine authority.
Jesus got into the boat, and the disciples followed him. Then there was a sudden storm and the disciples were afraid (don’t forget that some of these disciples were fishermen so were used to being out on the water). Jesus, however, was not worried about the waves and storm, he was able to sleep through it all. His peace was far beyond understanding! The disciples woke him, fearing for their lives and Jesus spoke to the waves and wind … and they obeyed.
Jesus knew what authority he carried … and so did the storm. The waves and wind were not pounded into submission, humiliated or fearful of Him, they didn’t put up a fight, rage harder or move away and rumble in the distance. They responded to their maker willingly. Now there is a challenge!
This reminded me of a song that I love from Bethel Music, It is Well. You can listen and watch from here.
“So let go my soul and trust in Him, the waves and wind still know His name. It is well with my soul.”
Jesus’ authority extends over everything. On this page there are people responding to Jesus’ voice and following him, there are also accounts of sickness leaving and spirits being driven out ‘with a word’ (8:16). When Jesus speaks all creation listens. It is such a comfort to know that everything still knows who he is.
We can quickly see the parable in this real event. Our lives can often feel like a little boat tossed about by a nasty storm. The storm of illness, circumstance, injustice, loneliness, pain …etc, buffets our tiny vessel and threatens to overpower us. We can see the sleeping form of faith and need to wake it up to rebuke the storm.
But what about the storm that He leads us to. Jesus led his disciples to the boat. There are storms that we get led to by our loving GOD … why is that?
The storm stirred up things in the disciples that they hadn’t realised were there. It was the storm that made them see and face their fear, need for control, reliance on themselves and lack of faith. I have often found that being in ‘the storm’ is actually the place where I am closest to GOD. It is in the storm that my weaknesses are exposed and I have to depend on His calm, His power, His authority and His voice. The storm provides me the opportunity to grow in my relationship with Him. In a sense, the storm is a place of mercy and grace from a loving father who sees what is in you and is calling it out. He speaks life into it.
If you are in a storm that you have been led into by GOD or one that you have walked into out of your own free will or one that is purposely against you, there is a decision to make. Will you let go and trust in Him? Do you believe that the waves and wind still know His name? Letting go is one of the most difficult things to do but trusting Him will release your soul to be made well.
I am pleased to say, Jesus’ authority and power are not based on title and are not handled to raise himself above us but are completely justified. He is the only one that can calm the waves and wind that threaten to take you out. You can trust Him.
I am praying, as I write this, that GOD will reveal Himself within your storm but that He would also reveal you to you. That you will feel the closeness of a Father that knows what you need and knows how to stir it up and speak life into it. And that you will trust in His authority to calm the waves and wind.