INTRO: Coming home from Australia in 1969, we elected to travel by ship from Sydney to Los Angeles. We were on the ship for an entire month with our four (at that time) fairly young children. As we journeyed, we encountered three typhoons ... massive storms in our part of the world we call "hurricanes". Needless to say, these were interesting events! We were on board a modern ocean liner which was equipped with every needed device to take us safely through the storms. I can only imagine, though, what such storms would have been like if I had been on board a small sailing craft. It probably would not have taken long for me to have said, "Master, master, we perish" (Lk 8:24). That, of course, was exactly the situation of the disciples of Jesus ... in a small boat on a very stormy sea.
I. SOME INITIAL THOUGHTS...
A. The end of a very busy day of teaching
1. Mark tells us "And the same day, when the even was come..."
2. Jesus' days were filled with people and teaching
3. physical and mental weariness were probably common to Jesus
B. It was Jesus' idea to cross the Sea of Galilee to "the other side"
1. was it His desire to be away from crowds to rest for a while?
2. whatever the case was, Jesus & disciples just left in small boats
3. there were no preparations made ... "they took him even as he was in the ship" - He was already in the boat ... doubtless, using it as a pulpit
C. Violent, sudden storms were common on the Sea of Galilee
1. geographically speaking, the sea was situated in such a way that the heights at the upper end and the deep ravines and canyons acted together to form a sort of "funnel" for the winds to rush upon the sea - even on clear days
2. so here they were in boats which were being "swamped" by the waves
3. Mark tells us, "...so that it was now full"
D. Jesus was asleep!
1. He was in the stern of the boat - head resting on some sort of cushion
2. one observed this was not only the sleep of weariness but also of faith
3. what contrast...Jesus sleeping & disciples terrified
II. A QUESTION...
A. "Master, carest thou not that we perish?"
1. seasoned sailors would have realized the danger in which they were
2. and they had to awaken Jesus to reveal the danger to Him!
3. no doubt in my mind that they were alarmed, frightened of dying there
B. But does Jesus care?
1. consider Jno 3:14,15 - yes, Jesus does care in ways they did not know
2. or, Jno 3:16 - Jesus is all about keeping us from perishing
3. further, Heb 4:15,16 - the great assurance of the scriptures is that Jesus does care about you and me ... for the here and now and the there and then!
III. ANOTHER QUESTION...
A. "Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?"
1. they had already seen some amazing things - but this was different
2. they knew about storms and boats ... and experience told them they were about to be engulfed and, probably, drowned
3. human experience sometimes works against faith
B. Trusting is not an easy thing for us human beings
1. it seems like it's one thing to "believe" - another to "trust"
2. trusting is acting on that which we believe when the acting my not be in harmony with experience
3. Jno 14:1 - the answer to fear and troubled hearts is belief/trust
IV. AND YET ANOTHER QUESTION
A. "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
1. in v. 39 the awakened Jesus spoke to the wind and sea (personified)
2. and once again His words are simple - no wild incantations
3. "Peace, be still" - what could these words mean to our troubled lives?
B. Col 1:14-17 - 2:9 - He is doubtless Deity
1. He created the material universe ... and He commands it
2. the miracles they had seen were truly amazing ... but I would guess that nothing they had seen compared with this
3. they had seen Him in His humanity - but now they are truly seeing Him in His Deity ... and that creates, understandably, a not before felt awe in them
CLOSE: For me, one of the great lessons here is that the same Jesus Who can make a stormy sea calm and peaceful can bring great peace into our lives. And the challenge is for us to translate belief into trust.
Cecil A. Hutson
11 February 2007
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)