Why Are You Afraid…?

One of the most powerful lessons that Jesus ever taught came when He asked and answered a question in Matthew 8. Jesus and His disciples were on a boat when “a violent storm developed on the sea” (Matthew 8:24). The storm was so intense that waves were crashing over the boat, and the disciples feared for their lives. As terrifying as it was, “Jesus Himself was asleep” (Matthew 8:24).

The men woke Jesus and said, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” (Matthew 8:25). Expecting to die, they turned to Jesus, and they begged for His help. While still lying down, Jesus asked, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26). He provided both the question and the answer.

Several of the men were experienced fishermen who had surely encountered severe weather before, but with this event, Jesus was there. They had followed Him onto the boat, they knew exactly where to find Him, and He was in their presence all along. Why were they afraid? They were afraid because even in His presence, even having seen His power, knowing without a doubt that Jesus was in that boat, they lacked faith in God to overpower what was outside of the boat.

We may have a faith that trusts God with the things we know, and our faith may be strong enough to lean on God throughout an average or typical day. However, we need a faith that trusts in God even when the most violent and threatening storms of life seem to come out of nowhere. God does not just have power over the boat; God has power and authority even over the things outside of the boat.

Matt Langfield