Isn’t it interesting how someone says something and you suddenly see things from a new perspective? That happened again to me last week. I was listening to Alistair Begg, and he said something that clicked. I’m not sure exactly how he said it, but it had to do with Jesus calming the storm. Remember that story? It’s recounted in synoptic gospels. I’ll use Mark and start at the point of the disciples waking Jesus in a panic, terrified for their very lives!
Mark 4:39-41 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
That’s what happened when Jesus saved me. I was a raging man, shaking my fist at God, not wanting to believe let alone bow down to him. I spent three decades like that, hating the idea of people sharing the gospel. Oh, sure, I had a couple of times when Jesus came close to me, and I wondered. But that certainly didn’t last long. I was too busy with my booze and all the other garbage in my life to be concerned with that stuff.
Then one day, God changed everything. It was like this story of the raging sea. Jesus said to me, “Peace! Be still!” – and I was. Just like that. I had peace that I never had before. My spirit was quiet and still is today, thirteen years later.
I’m also like the disciples in the boat, filled with great fear and wonder at who it was that could do what he just did. Others noticed, too. They knew me well. Suddenly there was this new guy yapping about Jesus. They never saw that coming! Yet there I was.
You see, Jesus can do anything. If he MADE the water and the wind and waves, certainly he could make them stand at attention. He parted the Red Sea, didn’t he? He stopped the Jordan River, didn’t he? He made water come from a rock, too. And, he calmed the sea for the disciples, simply by the sound of his voice.
I don’t know if you realize it, but this story happened while Jesus made a special trip to see the demon-possessed man. Jesus was teaching people and then said that he wanted to go to the other side of the sea, so they went. That’s when the storm hit, and Jesus calmed it. As soon as they hit shore, this naked, demon-possessed guy comes running down. Jesus does his stuff and then leaves and goes back to where he came from. That’s it. That’s the purpose of the trip – to release this man from the bondage of demons. He didn’t do anything else there or on that trip. One purpose, and one purpose only.
When Jesus was leaving, that man, who was now clothed and in his right mind, begged Jesus that he might go with him. Do you know what happened then?
Mark 5:19-20 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.
Folks, Jesus made a special trip to free this man, enduring a life-threatening storm to do so. He calmed both in an instant. And then he told the guy to tell everyone about it.
That’s what Jesus did for me. He made a special trip just to save me. I can relate to this story because I raged against God just like the demon-possessed man. And, like him, I was immediately in my right mind and sitting at Jesus’ feet.
The similarities don’t end there. Jesus sent us both to share with people what God has done for us. That’s exactly what I am doing with this blog, telling the whole world what Jesus has done for me. Perhaps that was Jesus’ whole intent for both of us – to share the gospel.
Why? So that you might believe and do the same.
Father, again, I am grateful that you had mercy on me. I deserved judgment and wrath, yet you spoke and calmed the storm within me. You spoke peace into my soul and had mercy on me. Why? Because it pleased you to do so, not because of who I was but despite it. You changed me, then and there, into a being who would obey and love you. You removed my heart of stone and gave me one that would call you, “My God!” So, yes, I am grateful and will gladly tell others my story. Thank you for the opportunity. Amen.