EXAMINE AAJ: Authority Luke 8
As we continue to study the life of Jesus we stand in awe. Jesus is profound and powerful. He is God, Savior and Lord. People are drawn to Him and He cannot catch a break from the crowds everywhere He travels (8:19). Moving on in Luke 8 we see that Jesus attempts a brief reprieve and gets into a boat with the disciples. Jesus is humanly exhausted and falls asleep. During the journey, a storm arose, filling the boat with water and bringing great danger to them. The disciples were afraid and woke Jesus saying, “We are perishing”. The disciples, many of whom navigated this lake for their business, assumed they would die from this simple boat ride. Storms can take anyone under, even disciples.
The essential point of this passage is that faith in Jesus is not storm-free but is storm-proof.
Life has its hardships. Challenges come. Obstacles arise and difficulty develops. But the question we must ask ourselves is this: “Is Jesus in your boat?” When storms strike, will your faith in Jesus Christ sustain you to keep rowing and move forward?
In the midst of such storms, today’s passage gives us several faith anchors for the soul regarding the identity and character of Jesus. Remember, storms that are over my head are under Jesus’ feet!
Jesus has a plan (Luke 8:22)
As you can see, Jesus gave the orders for the disciples to get into the boat. He stated with intention and authority, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” It was his plan and in His sovereignty, He orchestrated the circumstances as a teaching point for the disciples to learn the discipline of trust.
When God wants to instill a character trait or a faith conviction, He arranges circumstances for the intended result. For example, God sees we need to learn the virtue of patience or perhaps we pray for patience – well, God brings about situation(s) causing you to wait. If we need/pray for increased love for others there is likely several friendships in our life that will challenge us toward a faithful, sacrificial love. In learning to grow in our faith God will arrange series of challenges for us to trust Him. This is how God operates. Life on earth is a boot-camp for conforming to the character of Christ and preparing us for eternity.
ð Start each day yielding yourself to God and His plan for your life.
Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will act.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.”
Jesus is not worried (Luke 8:23)
Reading through the Gospel we see that Jesus and the disciples have been hard at work, serving and teaching to crowds of people. The emotional stress levels would have been high – dealing with temptation, demoniacs, sickness, disease, and paralytics, teaching to multitudes, caring for families with deceased loved ones, and not to mention being challenged and criticized by religious opponents. Exhaustion levels would have been high but sleep levels would likely have been minimal. This is partly the reason why Jesus leads the disciples to sail across the lake for some rest away from the crowds. In fact, Jesus does sleep but the disciples row. This action stands out for several reasons:
1) If Jesus is God, why does He need to sleep? Psalm 121:4 says God neither slumbers nor sleeps. The reason Jesus sleeps is because of His humanity. God took on flesh and its limitations. His full humanity identifies with us in every way, yet without sin. In all, Jesus was tired from ministering among the crowds of people.
2) In the midst of Jesus’ plan to cross the lake, the strenuous work of rowing would have been assigned to each person in the boat. Yet, Jesus sleeps. There is no doubt the disciples would have observed this. The point to be made is that Jesus endures the same storm as the disciples but with a different response. For the disciples, it would also be a test of their strength, physically and spiritually. For Jesus, it would be a means to once again reveal His identity, power and authority. His greatest storm is yet to come on the cross.
–> The storm doesn’t wake Jesus, it’s the prayers of His children.
ð Jesus’ sleeping reminds us we need rest and contentment in God.
Psalm 3:5 “I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.”
Psalm 127:2 “for he gives to his beloved sleep”
Isaiah 26:3 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
Jesus gives peace (Luke 8:24-25)
As the storm increases so does the danger for the disciples. The winds of adversity start as a gentle breeze but then blow the waves to beat the boat and the storm rages; and so does the disciples fear. But Jesus is not worried at the wind or the waves. The same voice that spoke the waves into existence is the same voice that calls them to calm.
ð Jesus tells us that anxiety, restlessness and fear stem from a lack of trust in God and His plan (Luke 8:25; 12:22-34; Philippians 4:5-7).
ð Faithlessness implies forgetfulness
Jesus’ wonder is not the waves but the worship of the disciples. “Where was their faith?” (8:25). They had seen Jesus raise the dead, heal sickness and disease. Why didn’t they trust Jesus in this situation? The disciples did not have peace because they did not remember who Jesus was. If you lack peace and question God’s wisdom and goodness then it is because you forget who He is:
– You have forgotten that God is your Creator, One of power and might to both save and send storms.
- Job 1:21 “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
– You have forgotten that God is your Lord and Sanctifier, the one who cares more about your holiness than your happiness
- 1Thessalonians 3:13; 4:7-8 “may the Lord establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints…For God has not called us for impurity but in holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.”
– You have forgotten that God is full of wisdom, grace and compassion and would never do anything that is not for your own good
- 1Peter 1:7-8, 18-19 “the testing of your faith – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls… knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ”
- James 5:11 “Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”
– Knowing of God’s power vs Trusting God’s power in the storm
Jesus is worthy of praise (8:26-29, 35-39).
The disciples marveled at Jesus’ authority and power over nature. This circumstance became another experience for them to believe Jesus is the Son of God and to trust Him with their lives. As they continued, they saw Jesus heal a man with a demon. Jesus challenged the man to return home and declare God’s praise for working in his life. And indeed, the man proclaimed the good news.
– God wants you to fear Him more than the storm
- Jesus is the Storm-Transformer!
- Fear looks @Storm, Faith looks @Savior