When Your Stormy Days Need to be Calmed

You’ve had those days. The ones that seem like back to back to back full schedules. You ran from one appointment to the next. One crisis to contend with after another. People calling, emailing, and texting wanting a piece of your time.

You got to the end of your day and your head hit the pillow for a short respite until you did it all over again.

You’ve had those days. And so did Jesus. In Matthew 8 and 9 we find him leaving the mountain and his talk and beginning his walk among the people. No sooner had he hit the level ground than a leper came to him. Lepers weren’t supposed to approach the well and the well weren’t supposed to touch lepers.

But Jesus did. He broke tradition in order to break barriers.

Next he entered Capernaum and a centurion has a request that Jesus heal his servant. Jesus is willing to go to his house—which Jews weren’t supposed to do—but the centurion says he understands authority and all Jesus has to do is speak the word. His faith gets the attention of Jesus and his servant gets healed.

Jesus enters Peter’s house where Peter’s mother-in-law is sick with a fever. He touches her and heals her and next thing he knows many others are being brought to him for healing.

It’s enough to wear you out. And that’s what Matthew wants us to see. Following Jesus isn’t easy. Sure crowds are forming. But so are demands on his time, his emotions, his attention. This is what life in his kingdom is like. So Jesus makes sure people understand the demands of discipleship.

He reminds a scribe that he has no place to lay his head. He tells a disciple to let the dead bury the dead. It may sound harsh. And it may cause you to think twice about Jesus.

It did the disciples. They find themselves in a boat with Jesus in the middle of a storm. They are scared to death and he is sound asleep.  They wake him up. He stands up and rebukes the storm and it ceases. They ask, “What sort of man is this?”

They don’t know. But the demons do. Next up are two demon-possessed men who call Jesus “Son of God.” The demons get moved into some swine and the men are freed.

Finally, Jesus heals a paralytic. His friends had picked him up—literally—and brought him to Jesus. Jesus heals him and the people glorify God.

Following Jesus can surface questions more than answer them at times. The disciples are trying to figure out what kind of man he is. The demons know exactly who he is. And others find out that following Jesus may not be easy.

When your days are hectic and you find yourself in a storm Jesus may not look like what you think he would. He goes places you wouldn’t think he would go. He touches people he is not supposed to touch. He says things you don’t expect. If he has never done anything to make you ask, “What kind of man is this?” then you probably haven’t followed him closely enough.

Or maybe you have. And you didn’t think he’d take you where you wound up. You thought you’d get to skip the unsettled waters. You’d get a pass on sickness. You thought if you followed Jesus you would have no reason to go to places where the people are rough around the edges and their language is salty. You surely didn’t think the religious people would be your toughest opponents.

“What kind of man is this?” is a question we will ask if we follow Jesus. When you do at least be where the disciples were: in the boat with him. Only Jesus can turn a great storm into a great calm.

Question: When have you wondered what kind of man Jesus is?

 

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