We had our first dusting of snow last night. Not sure how I feel about that. Duluth, MN and the North Shore of Lake Superior had incredible waves from the strong winds. The pictures on Facebook were spectacular! And quite frightening. One photographer was atop a high cliff and said the waves were making the whole land shake. And to think that our Lord stopped wind like that by a simple command. Let’s take a look at Luke’s telling of that:
Luke 8:22-25 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”
It occurred to me just today that there was a reason that they crossed the sea that day: to visit the demon-possessed man. That’s it. That’s all they did, and they returned back. To where? Jesus’ home city (as recorded by Matthew). But this was no little meeting.
Mark 5:2-7 And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain, for he had often wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.”
Luke adds that the man was naked.
Can you imagine this? Maybe you can if you have been attacked unexpectedly. This was a man everybody must have been terrified of. Rightly so. And to meet this man was the only reason Jesus took the boys on a little trip across the water.
Do you think he would have had any volunteers had they known what they might encounter along the way?
This unnamed man of scripture is one of the first people I want to meet in heaven. Even so, I would not have wanted to meet him that day. Jesus would have had to twist my arm to get me to go on that trip. The way I read the stories, the disciples had no clue of the perils they would face. Certainly, Jesus knew. He was going for a purpose.
It’s interesting to note that Jesus “rebuked” the wind and raging waves. Rebuke is “express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions.” Waves are inanimate. It would seem to me that Jesus wasn’t the only one who knew he was coming. It’s my thinking that the storm was demonic. Jesus was rebuking the evil behind it, just as he commanded the evil spirits to come out of the man.
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Might Jesus take you on a journey like this? Count on it. Does that frighten you? Remember what Jesus said to the boys in the boat. “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:40).
Father, I’ll go wherever you desire to take me, but I ask this, give me faith. Faith is a gift, right? Load me up. Amen.