Jesus ordered his disciples into a boat that was headed for a collision. “Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he sent the multitudes away” (Matthew 14:22, NKJV). The Old King James says he “constrained [them] to get into a ship…” that was headed for troubled waters where it would be tossed about like a bobbing cork. The disciples would be thrust into a mini-Titanic experience, and Jesus knew it all the time.
Where was Jesus? He was up in the mountains overlooking that sea. He was there probably praying for them not to fail the test he knew they must go through. The boat trip, the storm, tossing waves and winds were all a part of a trial the Father had planned. They were about to learn the greatest lesson they would ever learn: how to recognize Jesus in the storm.
At this point, the disciples recognized him as the miracle worker who turned loaves and fishes into miracle food. They recognized him as the friend of sinners, the one who brought salvation to every kind of humanity. They knew him as the supplier of all their needs, even paying their taxes with money from a fish’s mouth.
They recognized Jesus as “the Christ, the very Son of God.” They knew he had the words of eternal life. They knew he had power over all the works of the devil. They knew him as a teacher, teaching them how to pray, forgive, bind and loose. However, they hadn’t yet learned to recognize Jesus in the storm.
This is the root of much of our trouble today. We trust Jesus for miracles and healing. We believe him for our salvation and the forgiveness of our sins. We trust him to bring us into glory one day. When a sudden storm falls upon us and it seems like everything is falling apart, though, we find it difficult to see Jesus anywhere near. We can’t believe he allows storms to teach us how to trust.
This is not some deep, mystical, earth-shattering lesson. Jesus simply wants to be trusted as our Lord in every storm of life. He wants his disciples to maintain cheer and confidence even in the blackest hours of trial.