Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 11, 2011

"Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm."  Matthew 8:26
Jesus asked a very probing question, "Why are you afraid?"
He didn't wait for them to answer, He gave them a pointed answer, "You have so little faith."
That had to be hard to hear, but who's going to question Jesus? No one responded, "We have great faith!"

They knew He was right!
Have you ever heard Jesus whisper that to you? I'm sure you have questioned your own faith from time to time. And I guarantee that the devil has often accused you about your lack of faith.
They probably understood the point He was trying to make, but they were notoriously slow learners.

So, just in case - - what WAS He saying to them?

First of all, I believe He rebuked them because they called on Him out of fear rather than out of faith. You really could paraphrase this sentence, "Oh, you of great fear!" and not change the gist of the question. If you haven't noticed by now you soon will, this study is about faith as much as it is about fear.

Second, I think He confronted them for allowing the 18" gap between their heads and their hearts. We have that, too, don't we? The difference between faith and fear is the difference between what we know about Jesus and how we apply it to life situations. In the past 24 hours these guys had seen Jesus healing people and casting out demons. They knew He had power and authority from God, but when they were faced with this storm, they forgot Who He was. You could rephrase His statement like this, "Don't you remember Who I am, you fearful ones?"

And, I believe that He was disappointed that they had focused on the storm instead of the Son of God. They became fixated on the problem rather than His power. He was a second thought to them when He should have been a first response. In their boat lay the Creator of the universe and they got spooked by a storm. Their fearful focus relgated Jesus to an unused resource. 

It is a lot easier to recognize this "lack of faith" in the life of others, isn't it? Those disciples, what were they thinking?

But let me ask you, "If Jesus stood before you right now would He commend your faith or would He confront your fear?" 

Like the disciples, you can't have great fear and great faith at the same time. And like them, you may be just 18" away from having greater faith. What do you need to do today to move what you believe about Jesus in your head to how you respond with your heart?

Oh, by the way, Jesus calmed the storm anyway.