TEXT: Matthew 8:23-27
23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
In the midst of this sudden storm on the Sea of Galilee, we have two very different reactions from those caught in its throes. Jesus is the perfect picture of peace: calmly sleeping through the tempest. The disciples, however, are frantic. Their fisherman’s instincts told them that they should not be sailing in such weather. Yet, they had done what Jesus commanded; they followed Him when He entered the ship. Now, they urgently try to wake Jesus saying, “Lord, save us: we perish.” If you were caught in such a storm, what would your reaction have been? Most of us, despite this story, react like the disciples when caught in the sudden storms of life. We cry out to Jesus, “Lord, save us: we perish!”
Jesus is roused from sleep, and His response to His disciples is both rebuking and gentle, like a parent spoken to a child who should have known better: “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” Regarding this statement, Dr. John MacArthur states: “Jesus’ first response to the disciples’ plea was to rebuke them gently for their lack of faith. He said to them, ‘Why are you timid, you men of little faith?’ The Greek word for ‘timid’ has the basic meaning of being fearful or cowardly, and the disciples must have wondered why Jesus wondered at them. How could He ask why they were afraid and timid, when they obviously had everything to be afraid of? The great question in their minds was why Jesus was not afraid. It was the middle of the night, the storm was sure to wash them overboard or sink the boat, and any response but fear seemed unnatural. Jesus’ calmness so perplexed the disciples that they tried to accuse Him of insensitivity: Mark reports that they asked, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’
“But Jesus turned the rebuke back upon them. Why are you timid, He asked, and then gave the answer as part of the question: you men of little faith? They were fearful because they were faithless, timid because they had little faith. ‘Don’t you believe in Me and in My power?’ He asked, in effect. ‘Haven’t you seen enough of My power and experienced enough of My love to know you are perfectly safe with Me? You have seen Me perform miracle upon miracle, even on behalf of those who never trusted in Me or even bothered to thank Me. You have seen My power and My compassion, and you should know that because of My power I can help you and that because of My compassion I will help you. Even if you should drown, don’t you know that would mean instant heaven? What, then, do you have to be worried about?'”
This is likely what Jesus would say to us when we express little (or no) faith in the midst of our storms of life. We have seen Jesus work in the past. We have been witness to His work in the lives of others. We have read of His works in Scripture. We ought to believe that He will do for us what He has done for others. It is easy to have faith when there are no storms. But, for some reason, storms seem to zap our faith. We get tunnel vision and forget that the Lord works in marvelous ways. The least we can say for these disciples is that they did not give in to utter despair. They knew who to turn to. They cried out to the Lord in the midst of their great storm.
Manie P. Ferguson wrote:
Galilee’s waters are raging,
On them a vessel is tossed;
Seamen in terror are calling,
“Carest Thou not, we are lost?”
Sweetly asleep on a pillow,
Maker and Savior He lay;
Wild with dismay they awake Him,
“Master, we perish,” they say.
Over the noise of the tempest,
Over the dash of the wave,
Rings the sweet voice of the Savior;
See, He is mighty to save;
Calmed in a moment the billows,
Hushed in an instant to sleep,
Stilled is the roar of the wild winds,
Steadied their boat on the deep.
Wonderful Jesus, I need Thee,
Out in the storm and the strife,
Oft it has seemed I was sinking,
Tossed on the ocean of life;
Speak to the winds and the waters,
Each Thy behest must fulfill;
Speak to my heart in the tempest,
Whispering softly, “Be still.”
When I am toiling in rowing,
Almost engulfed in the sea,
Make of the billows a pathway,
Come thro’ the darkness to me;
Failures and terrors will vanish,
Soon as I know Thou art nigh;
Say to my soul in the danger,
“Be not afraid, it is I.”
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.