These two stories take place on the water. Jesus and His disciples and lessons to be learned. Being a disciple of Jesus does not mean that you know all you need to know on day one. Trusting Christ and relying upon Him totally seems to be a process reinforced by the reality of life and our growing dependence on Christ. The disciples did not put their faith in Jesus all at once, they go through a series of events or stages, much like falling in love. Every time they thought they had Jesus figured out, He would surprise them. Let us look at two events in the life of Jesus and His disciples:
“When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats so that they began to sink.” (Luke 5:4-7)
Jesus had been teaching and he borrowed one of the fishing boats for His pulpit. After He was finished he told Peter to push out into the deep. The call to discipleship is a call to venture out into the deep! As a Christ follower, you will often be in way over your head, as Christ asks you and me to put out into the deep. You can sense Peter’s rising irritation: ‘We are professional fishermen, we have worked all night which happens to be when you catch fish, not in the middle of the day. Certainly not out in the deep water. But for no other reason than Jesus commanded they dropped the nets and the nets quickly fill with so many fish that it nearly breaks their nets. The disciples are beginning to see that Jesus is more than a rabbi or teacher, He is in fact the Messiah, the Son of God! Jesus said to them if you think this is a big deal from now on you are going to catch people! Just like you and I, they had no idea what they were getting into by following Jesus and becoming His disciples.
“And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:37-38)
At a later time, the disciples were with Jesus on a boat. It is quite common for a severe storm to arise and to strike quickly without warning. This was the situation in which the disciples find themselves. A ferocious storm and they are fearing for their very lives. Where is Jesus? Have you ever asked that in the midst of a storm in your life? Where is Jesus? He is asleep on a cushion! How can you sleep during a violent storm? The panicked disciples wake Jesus nearly screaming “don’t you care if we drown?” At least He could wake up and help bail water. Jesus gets up and in a strong voice says “Peace be still!” The Bible says the disciples were terrified. They were afraid of the storm, they were terrified by the calm. The power of Jesus was unsettling to them. Part of the problem is they have underestimated Jesus again. He is a teacher and so much more, He is a prophet, yet so much more. He is the Son of God! Jesus does not fit into their neat little categories. Jesus reprimands them for their lack of faith. You see they wanted someone to help bail, they work looking for a partner. They did not expect someone who could master the entire situation!
What are you looking for in Jesus, someone to help you manage your life or are you willing to give everything to Him? Following Jesus means I lose control and I gladly let Jesus take control of my life.
For most of us, surrendering control is the hardest decision we will make, and we will revisit it a few times. The disciples learned through various circumstances that Jesus is Lord. We also learn this fact throughout our lives. We will be tested but He can be trusted!