CHANGES IN A STORM
This lesson demands that we answer the question, “Exactly what is a miracle?” The term “Miracle” is used far too loosely and frequently in our society. “A miracle is a divine operation that transcends what is normally perceived as natural law; it cannot be explained upon any natural basis.” Some miracles involved a temporary and localized suspension of laws regulating nature. Jesus calmed a ferocious storm on the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:22-25), and, on another occasion, he walked upon the waters of that same lake. (John 6:16-21) In Luke 8:22-25 we read, “Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.” As Jesus and His disciples were in a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee, they found themselves in a storm. As the water beat into the boat the disciples were terrified, thinking that they could not keep the boat afloat. While the disciples were in this desperate situation to save themselves, Jesus was asleep. They awoke Jesus saying, “Master, master, we perish.” Jesus simply arose and “Rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.” There are three amazing changes recorded in this account.
There was a change from a storm to stillness. This change took place in a moment. First there was a storm, then at the words of Jesus there was a great calm. “And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.” This was truly a miracle. At the words of Jesus the waves and the wind suddenly ceased. A similar change takes place in our life when we become a Christian. We move from the storms that Satan brings into our life to the peace and calm that God gives.
There was a change from hopelessness to hope. The storm had brought the disciples to the point where they had lost hope. There were frightened and panic stricken. They felt certain that they were perishing and death was imminent. They cried to Jesus saying, “Master, master, we perish.” They were as trouble inwardly as the sea was outwardly. When Jesus spoke the raging of the wind and sea ended and there was a great calm. In Isaiah 26:3 we read, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” A similar change takes place in our life when we become a Christian. We move from hopelessness to hope.
There was a change from agitation to faith. The storm is described by Mark as “a great storm of wind.” He said, “The waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.” (Mark 4:37) While the storm ragged, “Jesus was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow.” (Mark 4:38) The disciples expressed their agitation with Jesus when they awoke Him saying, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38) These men experienced a wonderful change of attitude toward Jesus. Their initial attitude toward Jesus was agitation. Suddenly that attitude changed. When Jesus calmed the storm there was a great change in them also. In Matthew 8:27 we read, “But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” A similar change takes place in our life when we become a Christian. We move from doubt to strong faith in Jesus.
Will you be baptized into Christ to put on Christ so that your sins can be forgiven by His blood? "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27) Believers contact Christ's saving blood by being baptized into His death. John said, "And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5:11-12) We join with Paul in saying, "To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:21) Are you a faithful member of the church of Christ?
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street,
Greenville, Alabama 36037