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His Just Rebuke

Thursday, February 22, 2024 @ 08:49 AM His Just Rebuke Stephanie Simmons Director of Technology MORE

As a child, I never wanted to get in trouble, but occasionally, I found myself in a heap of it. For example, there was that one time that I rolled my eyes at my mom. And I say one time because that was the only time I let my Daddy see me do that. Or, there was the time when I drove the car wearing only one contact lens and almost wrecked it with my family in tow. I obviously needed two to see clearly! Rebuke (and some discipline) was the proper response to my behavior, even though I didn’t like it. But when it comes to the Bible, it has always bothered me that Jesus rebuked the disciples on the boat when they woke him in the middle of the storm.

Have you ever approached your parents’ bedside in the middle of the night because of a thunderstorm or a bad dream? Were they angry that you woke them? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, they’re only human, right? But Jesus. Why would He rebuke them for coming to Him with their fear? Was He angry that they woke Him from a good nap? Was He frustrated at their overreaction to the storm? Was He simply tired and having a bad day? No, certainly not. Although Jesus was human, I must remind myself that He was also God incarnate. He slept so He could be awakened. He never gave up authority and was in full control even while He rested physically.

In Matthew 8:18-27, Jesus tells the disciples there would be a cost to following Him. Then, instead of walking to the other side of the lake, he directs them into a boat and lays down for a leisurely nap on the water. Suddenly, a furious storm rolled in, causing mighty waves to crash over the boat and strong winds to toss it back and forth. He had guided them right into the path of a storm but never left them. He simply rested. The disciples, however, were terrified and panicked that the next wave would capsize them. Each gust of wind and crashing wave caused their fear to intensify, so they woke their Master and cried for help.

But Jesus rebuked them.

My first inclination was to bristle at Jesus’ rebuke because he was disappointed in them for their lack of faith. And He was, but not because they were disturbing Him. He rebuked them for allowing their fear to torment them. The Matthew Henry Complete Bible Commentary says, “He does not chide them for disturbing him with their prayers, but for disturbing themselves with their fears.” Seeing them struggling and terrified broke His heart, and it was dishonoring that they did not trust Him. He was right there with them in the storm. He was their perfect example of peace and sustaining grace. He wanted them to see beyond their current circumstances to Who was in control of it all and trust Him. That’s faith.

Recently, I went through a storm that I thought would surely capsize my family. Fear was a frequent companion in the middle of the night when my mind would race, and sleep would evade me. Some days seemed so confusing, while others were filled with hope, but I found that Jesus walked every step of that storm with me. In the most unexpected ways, He nourished my soul. He never left me, and I’m certain He heard every prayer. It’s now clearer than ever that my fears were displeasing to Jesus, but He never stopped loving me or listening to my cries. Instead, He used the storm to correct me in some areas and to strengthen my faith in Him. He is good even when life is not.

Are the winds and waves of life crashing over you? Do you feel like you are drowning? Christ will never rebuke you for seeking Him. In fact, that’s exactly what He wants you to do, but He wants you to trust and rest in Him. With every wind and wave that hits, understand that it passes through His hands. He may seem to be sleeping, but cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). The storm will cease when He speaks.

“By faith, we might see through the storm to the quiet shore, and encourage ourselves with hope that we shall weather our point.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)

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