Friday, October 30, 2009

Master, save us! We're going down!


Past
Present
Future

I am going to set this experience up in three parts.

Past:

It starts with a wonderful story.

Matthew 8
14 -15 "By this time they were in front of Peter's house. On entering, Jesus found Peter's mother-in-law sick in bed, burning up with fever. He touched her hand and the fever was gone. No sooner was she up on her feet than she was fixing dinner for him."

Presto! Peter's wife's mom is sick. Jesus is called in. He heals her effortlessly right on the spot. She jumps up and makes supper.

That is as it should be. We have a problem. We pray. Deliverance is miraculous, complete and instantaneous.

16 -17 "That evening a lot of demon-afflicted people were brought to him. He relieved the inwardly tormented. He cured the bodily ill. He fulfilled Isaiah's well-known sermon:
He took our illnesses,
He carried our diseases. "

This also fits neatly with our expectations. Hurting people are brought to Jesus. He immediately heals them. Heals them all. Heals them instantly. Heals them completely.

No ambiguity. No delay. No doubt.
Wonderful!

18 -19 "When Jesus saw that a curious crowd was growing by the minute, he told his disciples to get him out of there to the other side of the lake. As they left, a religion scholar asked if he could go along. "I'll go with you, wherever," he said.
20Jesus was curt: "Are you ready to rough it? We're not staying in the best inns, you know."
21Another follower said, "Master, excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have my father's funeral to take care of."
22Jesus refused. "First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life."

Present:

23 -25 "Then he got in the boat, his disciples with him. The next thing they knew, they were in a severe storm."

Hold it! This is Jesus. These are his followers. With Jesus they are impervious to danger, to fright, to hanging on for dear life wondering if they are going to die!

This does not make sense!!

"Waves were crashing into the boat—and he was sound asleep!"



This is even worse! Have you ever been in the storm? And you pray? And it seems like God is asleep?

Or even worse - Like he doesn't even care?

"They roused him, pleading, "Master, save us! We're going down!"

There have been many times in history where believers plead with God. I think of the Hebrews in Egypt for 450 years, asking for deliverance. Later they are captive in Babylon for 70 years, pleading for deliverance. Then in world war 2, for four years, they are pleading for deliverance.

There are Christians all around the world right now, pleading for deliverance. Chinese Christians being tortured in jail, former Muslim believers, being abused for following Christ, Indian Christians persecuted by muslims and hindus alike.

Not to mention Christians everywhere pleading for the life of someone who has cancer, or some other disease.

And Jesus is asleep in the boat!

Future:

The future is always unknown. And sometimes seems bleak.

The disciples were terrified for their lives. And SO confused! Didn't Jesus just heal Peter's mother-in-law? Didn't he just heal a whole bunch of people? Strangers, most of them?

But they were all going to die? And Jesus was right in the boat with them?

26Jesus reprimanded them. "Why are you such cowards, such faint-hearts?" Then he stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down: "Silence!" The sea became smooth as glass."

Deliverance! Yet one more time!

27The men rubbed their eyes, astonished.
"What's going on here?
Wind and sea come to heel at his command!"

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