Storm Sleeper

Sunday 11th October 2020 with Ps Chris Denham

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side.’ 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’

41 They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’

Jesus is asleep in the storm

  • The disciples don’t wake Jesus for help but for an explanation. 2020 could very easily be the year we ask God why everything has happened the way it is but perhaps the best thing we could do is ask him how we should navigate through it.
  • In this story, we can see two types of Jesus. One who intervenes as Lord over nature and commands the storm to be still and the Jesus who is asleep at the back of the boat. Which Jesus are you looking for?
  • ‘Sleeping Jesus’ is greater than ‘Intervention Jesus’ because he is already at peace in the storm. Jesus’ response when the disciples wake him is to question their faith. He invites us to discover something more powerful than his ability to calm the storm – the peace that is found in the midst of the storm.

Accept Jesus as he is

  • We want Jesus to fit into our idea of who he is but we can’t rest while we are wrestling to put Jesus in a box that is most convenient.
  • Jesus does things and says things that we do not expect. Jesus invites us to come to him for rest, not the other way round. (Matthew 11:28-29)

Be with Jesus where he is

  • The most important question is not where is Jesus but where are you? He is in the boat but we must choose to be present to experience his peace.
  • It requires deliberate engagement to lean in. We don’t need the storm to be still to experience peace because rest is found in his presence.

Recognise Jesus is more than a teacher

  • Jesus is far more than a teacher, he is the Lord. The disciples went from calling him teacher to bowing in awe of who he was.
  • Are we worshipping someone who can give us some good life hacks for the week ahead or the king who holds the world in his hands?

Discussion questions

  1. When things are kicking off around us, how easy do you find it to ask Jesus for help?
  2. Are there some parts of who Jesus is or says that we find uncomfortable?
  3. How would you describe your connection with Jesus throughout the week? How easy do you find it to be present with him?
  4. Is Jesus just a good teacher or is he Lord? How does that change how you live?

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