Do You Really Know Jesus?
#5: New Faith
Luke 8:22-25Luke 8:
22 Now it came to pass on a certain day,
that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go
over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. 23 But
as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake;
and they were filled [with water], and were in jeopardy. 24 And
they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he
arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and
there was a calm. 25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith?
And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is
this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
Power Point Link
Sometimes we don’t really know Jesus because we don’t really know how faith works. We think faith is found in my personal ability, but actually it is found in a shared relationship. Our key verse this morning is Luke 8:25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? I want to challenge your knowledge of Jesus Christ this morning with the same question, “Where is your faith?”
Weak In the Wind Luke 8:22-23
Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.
In His Will but Still in the Storm
Luke tells begins this section of the Gospel by saying in 8:1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
This was a very busy time in the Lord’s ministry and after a full day of doing His Fathers will, Jesus seeks rest by leaving the crowds behind and sailing across the sea of Galilee. We catch a glimpse of Jesus as fully a man, a human just as we are, for he though he never sinned, he was still liable to the weariness of the flesh and as the ship leaves shore, overcome with fatigue after preaching and teaching all day, he falls asleep. As He sleeps a sudden storm sweeps down upon the lake and catches the little open fishing boat.
The sea of Galilee is 13 miles long, 8 miles wide and 140 feet deep. We don’t know exactly where Jesus and the disciple crossed but this is a very large lake and now they are caught out in the middle of it during a thunderstorm and the disciples are naturally afraid, in Texas we would say, “They were near skeered to death.”
The disciples were doing exactly what Christ had commanded them to do and yet they are caught in a life-threatening situation, in the center of God’s will and still in the center of the raging storm.
If This is His Will Then Why the Storm?
For the child of God, for a follower of Christ, for a Disciple, the will of God is simply doing what Christ requests. It is doing what He tells us to to.
We should understand that for us, there is no unknown will of God. All of God's will is found in His written word. Plainly written in common language so that all of us can understand for ourselves, this is God’s will.
We should also understand that knowing God’s will and doing God’s will does not mean we will not have difficulties, in fact it probably means just the opposite at least according to what the Jesus and the Bible says,
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
1 Thessalonians 3:4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Let me give you an axiom of faith, kind of like Murphy’s law but for believers, “If you today determine to begin tithing, within a week the engine of your car will fall out as you drive on highway 31.”
Illustration: The Children of Israel
This is the first thing we need to understand about Jesus and faith. If we follow Him, truly follow Him, then there will be trouble. This has always been the case for God’s people. Look all the way back to the book of Exodus and the Hebrews as they come out of Egypt.
The Hebrew nation stands on the border of the Promised Land after following the word of God through Moses His prophet, they send out the spies into the land and find out that the land of milk and honey also contains Giants behind walled cities that they are going to have to fight in order to possess the promise of God. It should not surprise us then that we are not guaranteed a primrose path into heaven after choosing to follow Jesus Christ.
So now what. What do you do when you find yourself in the center of the storm because you doing God’s will? We should do just what the disciples did, they cried out to Christ. This is the next lesson on faith.
Crying for Christ Luke 8:24
And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.
The Disciples Cry Out
They believed they were going to die. They are absolutely terrified, afraid that they were about to be destroyed by the storm. I don’t blame them, I can fully appreciate what they are feeling.
After the disciples call out to Jesus, He then rebukes the storm, but He also rebukes them. In the parallel account in Mark 5:4 it in stronger language. Jesus says, “Why are ye so fearful, how is it that ye have not faith?”
Jesus rebukes his disciples, not because the storm wasn't dangerous but because they saw the storm's power but not their Savior's protection.
Cry of Fear or Cry of Faith
Just like the disciples in that ship, when we find ourselves in the midst of the life’s trials, we must get our eyes off the storm and look to our Savior.
Here is the next thing we must understand about faith.
Faith is not denying the reality of the storm it is in comprehending the reality of Jesus. Faith is not in denying difficulties, sin, failure or loss but in seeing Jesus as the one who can bring us through this often painful life to eternity.
Faith is not in denying my poverty but in finding the real riches of God that are too great for this world to hold.
Do you know why the boat couldn't sink? Because Jesus the Son of God was in the boat.
Do you know why you as a child of God won’t sink in the storms that can suddenly appear in our life? Because Christ is in us. If the boat could not sink then how much more our life cannot sink because “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world?”
We need to put away the fear of losing salvation, drive out our fear of problems that are too great for God, disregard the fear of anything in this world that tries to threaten us because Jesus has promised us, "Lo, I am with you always." That promise is all we will ever need.
Illustration: The Loving Sword
Years ago, during the time of the tall ships and sails, a naval officer and his wife were aboard a ship that was caught in a raging ocean storm. Seeing the frantic look in her eyes, the man tried to allay her fears. Suddenly she grasped his sleeve and cried, "How can you be so calm?"
He stepped back a few feet and drew his sword and then pointing it at her , he said, "Are you afraid of this?"
Without hesitation she answered, "Of course not!" "But why not?" he asked her.
"Because it's in your hand, and I know you love me and would never hurt me."
Sheathing his sword and holding his wife the man said, "Well that is just it, we also know the One who holds the winds and the waters in the hollow of His hand, and He loves us."
Now we come to the key verse for today’s sermon and it contains one of the most penetrating questions that Jesus ever asked His disciples and I believe that He still asks us today, “Where is your faith?”
Finding Our Faith Luke 8:25
And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
Where Is Your Faith?
Jesus asks His disciple about their faith. Specifically, He asks them, “Where is your faith? Why did it not show itself in the storm? Where was evidence of their belief and trust in him? Why did their faith fail?
I imagine how the disciples must have felt after they went called out in fear and then watched as Jesus stood up and told the storm to shut up and it did! How could them but wonder, what manner of man is this?
At this stage in their relationship with Jesus they did not fully know Him. They were following a rabbi, a teacher and I’m sure they believed that He was the Messiah. They had seen the miracle of the water into wine, seen Jesus drive the money changers from the Temple but no teaching and no minor miracle up to this point had prepared them for what they had just seen. The man had just told a raging thunderstorm to quiet down and like an rowdy puppy reprimand by its master, the storm did exactly as it was told. What manner of man, indeed.
You see their lack of knowledge of Jesus, who he fully was, was why their faith had failed. They needed a new faith, an expanded faith that was as strong as the One they followed.
My Faith Is Where Jesus Is
Let me give you some misconceptions about faith before we look at what faith really is.
Faith is not willpower. Faith is not some kind of self-discipline but instead it is submission, it is not my strength but my surrender that brings powerful faith.
Faith is not endurance. Endurance doesn’t produce faith, it is the result of faith.
Nor is faith a supernatural power. Faith may accomplish supernatural deeds, but it never requires a supernatural ability in us.
The key to faith, the new deeper faith that we are focusing on today, is in the question that Jesus asked the disciples, "Where is your faith?"
What they needed to understand and what we need to understand is that their faith must be in the person who was in the ship, asleep in the midst of the storm.
Faith is found and measured in the extent and depth of my trust in the man and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Where is your faith? The answer was and must always be, my faith is in Jesus. In salvation, in service, in sacrifice and in the storms my faith must forever be found in Jesus.
John 6:47-48, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life
John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John 11:25-26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
Jesus challenged His disciples that day and I believe as we read His words this morning, he is challenging us. Challenging us to a new faith, a faith that is stronger and broader and deeper because we know where our faith is. Or faith is in Jesus, nowhere else can it be found but only in the One who saves us, commands us into the storm and then stands with us as the storm rages past.
Illustration: Dave Dravecky
Dave Dravecky was a profession Major League Baseball pitcher
for the Padres and the Giants and he was good, helping the Padres win their first pennant in 1983 and pitching in the All Star game in only his second season. In the playoffs, playing for the Giants he pitched a shut-out against the Cardinals. But now of that is why you should remember Dave Dravecky. In 1988 they found a tumor in Dravecky pitching arm. He underwent surgery and half of the deltoid muscle was removed while they froze his humerus bone to try and stop the cancer. By 1989 he was pitching in the minors and then in August 10 he made a very famous return to the majors. As he pitched that night he felt a tingling in his arm but continued to pitch. Then in the sixth inning as he pitched the ball, his humerus bone snapped. The sound of that bone breaking was as loud as a bat breaking and you could hear it in the stadium seats. Dave Draveky collapsed on the mound in terrible pain. After a time it was found that the cancer had returned and the arm and shoulder were amputated to save the pitchers life.
Dave Draveky was a strong Christian before he lost his arm but that loss would make give him an even stronger faith in Jesus. Draveky tells a story about faith and I’ll close with it.
“One night....a woman came up to me and told me how she was once down-and-out with a drug addiction -- until someone told her about Christ, and she became a Christian and was healed of her addiction. She told me that God wanted all his children to be one hundred percent healthy. But does He? What would God's children grow up to be like if all the bumps in the road ahead of them were made smooth? Cancer introduced me to suffering. And suffering is what strengthened my faith. Yet that woman implied I was suffering because I didn't have enough faith. She seemed to be saying, have enough faith and get the life you want. But that struck me as making God into some kind of cosmic vending machine, where, if you pushed the right button, you would get a sweet life, free of suffering. Someone once said that the difference between American Christianity and Christianity as it is practiced in the rest of the world has to do with how each views suffering. In America, Christians pray for the burden of suffering to be lifted from their backs. In the rest of the world, Christians pray for stronger backs so they can bear their suffering." - Dave Dravecky in When You Can't Come Back
Dravecky in the midst of his storm found his faith in Jesus.
Where is your faith this morning?
Is it battling the storm or is it resting in Jesus? Is it failing in the fight or growing in His grace. What we all need is not more faith but more knowledge of who Jesus is, what Jesus can do, and where Jesus will lead.
Where is your faith? If it's not in the person of Jesus, then this morning is the time to place it there. Nowhere else will faith do us any good but if I find my faith in Him then no storm will ever sink my soul.