Sunday 6 February, 2022

Matthew 8:18-27

18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” 23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

I have always been arrested by Jesus words here “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”  I mean this was a storm in the middle of the lake, known to swamp boats and drown the occupants!  Who wouldn’t be afraid?  Yet Jesus is forthright, powerful and perhaps a little ‘ticked-off’.  Somehow Jesus had a totally different reading of the situation.  A reading that meant that he was relaxed, relaxed enough to sleep.  A reading that meant he expected his disciples to be able to overcome their fears and know that everything would be alright!  A reading where He expected the disciples to rise in faith not fear!

You of little faith – even when we are pressed in a situation where our natural instinct is fear!

So when is it that fear overwhelms my opportunity for faith and sucks the oxygen out of the room so that faith doesn’t flourish!  When would Jesus say this of me?  For surely He has and with good reason.  When have I baulked in fear rather than risen in faith.

It is almost trite to say I will rise in faith – but that is how I must apply what I am learning here – I must choose faith, even when my natural instinct is fear!

Father, give me courage so that even when I am afraid I will rise in faith and so see your salvation come!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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