Luke 8:22-26 (Sermon notes from 24/2/19)
Rev Lorraine reminds us that this miracle is only the first of 4 in chapter 8 of Luke’s Gospel..and there are more in other chapters too! In chapter 9 the disciples are going to be sent out to do as Jesus does; drive out demons, heal the sick and preach the kingdom of God. Before they could accomplish all that they needed to learn about the power of Christ and their own faith.
There are 15 people in this picture by Rembrandt of this bible story. Which one do you identify with?:
The one on top?
The ones who are afraid?
The one barely hanging on?
The one who’s sick?
The ones angry at God?
The one quiet and alone?
The one feeling lost?
The one worshipping the Lord?
The one at the helm?
The 12 disciples had enormous faith, they had left everything they knew to follow Jesus. Yet even they had their faith tested to the point of doubting God’s care and plans.
Many commentators on this passage condemn the disciples for their lack of faith. They demand that TOTAL faith in God is all we need,and then we won’t have a care in the world…..
But Lorraine thinks that IF the storms of life don’t worry or scare us, we wouldn’t be human. God made us with the ability to recognise and feel fear: it is what protects us and makes us avoid danger, it keeps us alive.
The disciples looked to Jesus to help them, and he did what was asked of him. Then he asks “where is your faith?”. Lorraine suggests that this is not necessarily a rebuke, but an invitation to think about their reaction. Our tests and trials reveal weaknesses, but if we react with faith we can work on strengthening our vulnerabilities thus protecting ourselves from future pitfalls.
God never condemns us, he convicts us of areas of our lives which we need to work on with him. He wants us to stay close to him and gain more faith. When we gain more faith we face further tests and trials in order that we gain even more until we see him face to face. Then we shall see and understand why our life’s path took us through the tests and trials it did.
Don’t tell God how big your storm is, tell the storm how big your God is! Amen