Lord of the wind and the waves

Lord of the wind and the waves

BRF author and Bible reading notes contributor Amy Boucher Pye appeared on BBC One’s Songs of Praise on Sunday 23 January 2022, speaking to one of our New Daylight subscribers in New Zealand, whose life was changed by a reflection that she read on Tuesday 22 February 2011 – the day that the Canterbury earthquakes struck in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Here, we share that reading and reflection from our New Daylight Bible reading notes, written by Amy Boucher Pye.

Lord of the wind and the waves

Then [Jesus] got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!’
Matthew 8:23–27 (TNIV)

In his account, Matthew shows that Jesus is not only Lord over disease and demons but over nature, too. He is Immanuel, God with us, who rebukes the storm over the seas just as God in the Old Testament made the waters calm—see, for instance, Psalm 104:7 (‘at your rebuke the waters fled’) or Isaiah 50:2 (‘by a mere rebuke I dry up the sea’). At his mere word the seas obey, causing the frightened disciples to wonder just who it is that is in the boat with them. They had seen him healing previously incurable diseases, but they had not reckoned on him controlling nature as well. Being familiar with the references in the Old Testament mentioned above, they would have realised immediately the gravity of Jesus’ actions here.

The storm was also no ordinary storm. This is hinted at by the Greek word seismos, which usually means an earthquake or, literally, a ‘shaking’ (R.T. France, Matthew, IVP, 1985, p. 161). A force descended from outside, bringing chaos—that is, a squall came upon the lake, violently and suddenly. Jesus demonstrates his authority by calming it with a rebuke.

Jesus wants us to believe in his power to still the storms in our lives, whether created from outside or within. As we turn to him, whether in fear or in faith, and as we ask him to save us, he brings calm and peace, creating order from disorder.

Prayer

Lord, I confess that when I see the waves leaping at my boat, I react with fear. Come and save me and increase my faith in your goodness and grace.

By Amy Boucher Pye in New Daylight January–April 2011.

Explore our New Daylight Bible reading notes.