"Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping." Matthew 8:23-24
It is good to be in the same boat with Jesus. You would like to think that if you are in the boat with Jesus you would have smooth sailing. But this story proves that having Jesus in the boat does not exempt you from storms, contrary to what some might claim.
Why would anyone think that being in the boat with Jesus should exempt you from the storms? Is He a lucky charm? Is He a season pass from suffering? Do we get pulled out of the real world? What are your expectations when you share the boat with Jesus? What should they be?
Let's talk about the expectation thing this morning. I think it is crucial and I also think it is one of the central truths of this story. We try to fit Jesus into our expectations. A few storms can knock that out of us.
We should expect Jesus to be exactly Who He is - the Son of God! It is up to us to discover all that means.
Jesus had spent the day trying to reveal to the disciples Who He is and what they should expect from Him. Go back and start at the beginning of Matthew 8 to set the context for this story.
He healed a leper, and then He was pleasantly surprised by the faith demonstrated by a Roman officer - so much so that He made a point of it to His disciples in case they had missed it. And, to honor that Roman's faith, He did a long-distance healing. Later, He healed Peter's mother-in-law and spent the evening casting out demons.
Not bad for one day in the life of Jesus!
Based on that brief glimpse, what should we expect when He gets in our boat?
Expect Him to be powerful!
He had power over disease and over demons!
Expect Him to be Scriptural!
He used His power to fulfill the prophecies and promises of Scripture! If you want to know Him, know them!
Expect Him to be purposeful!
After Jesus had healed and delivered and ministered, He called those who would follow Him to put Him first. A Christ-follower must be willing to forsake all to come after Him.
Expect Him to be personal!
Jesus spoke to large crowds and was followed by multitudes and ultimately died for everyone, but He deals with people individually - personally. He knows your name! He knows your need!
As you meditate on these thoughts, let me ask you two more questions, "How many of your fears are rooted in wrong expectations of Jesus?" And, "What would happen to your level of fear if you came to a better understanding of what to expect from Him?"
Could we be onto something here?