Jesus is Lord over all. His authority extends to everything in the universe. There is nothing that His sovereign power isn’t over. This includes the disturbances and disasters in nature. Since the invasion of sin in the world disasters have become a normal part of life. Sadly, so much life has be damaged or destroyed as a result of natural disasters. But it wasn’t always this way. Why do disasters happen? And we can add to that, why is there disease, demonic deception, and death? Back in Genesis 3 Adam and Eve rebelled against their Creator, and as a result God issued a curse. This curse would bring about consequences that would result in disorder, demonic domination, disasters, disease, and death.
This brings me to our passage under consideration, Luke 8:22-25. This passage teaches us that it will not always be this way. Jesus is Lord over disasters, demons, diseases, and death!
1. HIS SOVERIEGN REQUEST (8:22)
After getting into a boat with His disciples Jesus said, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake” (8:22). This was not a random request because Jesus knew what He was doing. Jesus is about to demonstrate to His disciples that He is Lord, and that this Lordship extends over nature. When Jesus made this request, the disciples didn’t understand that this was the purpose behind His request. John Piper has said, “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.” Not only that, but also the things we see Him doing or the things He requires of us we will not always understand. We will learn in a moment that this request of Jesus leads the disciples into a storm!
When we are faced with decisions in life, we are to remember that we will not always understand what is behind the Lord’s requests. Sometimes we might feel that obedience to the Lord’s commands in His Word is strange, hard, or not the best. But we will do well to know that every command of the Lord is issued for His glory and our good.
So when Jesus told the disciples to go across to the other side of the lake, this needs to be understood as a sovereign request. This request of Jesus is going to show the disciples who He is and what He can do. When the Lord’s calls for us to be obedience to Him, we should look, listen, and learn.
2. HIS SOVEREIGN REST (8:23)
In obedience to Jesus, the disciples set out to the water. After sailing for a time Jesus fell asleep. Why is Jesus sleeping? Without question He is tired as a result of His busy ministry schedule. Jesus has been walking from village to village teaching the good news of the Kingdom. Jesus exerted all His energy in doing the will of His Father. So after they got in the boat He laid down resting His head on a pillow and He was in a deep sleep. Suddenly “a windstorm came down on the lake” and the boat began to fill with water. The situation was a dangerous one.
From the perspective of the disciples they were in an uncontrollable situation. But from Jesus’ perspective they were in a controlled situation. Jesus could truly rest and not be restless because He is in control. He is Lord, and this occasion, which filled the disciples with fear, became an occasion, in which He displayed control. Jesus was sleeping, but He was not forgetting His disciples. This could be called sovereign sleep.
We will often find ourselves in what might appear to be uncontrollable situations. The storms of life beat against us and those situations are hard. Times like that do hurt, and in our own strength they are uncontrollable. But as the people of God, we need to know and be reminded that our Lord is sovereign and therefore He is in full control of every situation.
3. HIS SOVEREIGN REBUKE (8:24-25)
This situation overwhelmed the disciples so they woke Jesus up and said, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” (8:24a). The repetition of the word “Master” reveals the urgency and deep emotion of the disciples. Once Jesus awoke He “rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm” (8:25a). Could you imagine what the calm after the storm was like? One moment it was thunderous and turbulent, and then it became silent and still. Jesus uttered His sovereign speech, and rebuked the storm. The disaster coming my means of the storm was too much for the disciples to handle, but Jesus showed them that He is the Lord over all, and that includes all of creation.
Jesus not only rebuked the storm, but He also rebuked His disciples. After calming the storm, Jesus asked the disciples a straightforward question, “Where is your faith?” (8:25a). This question is designed to make them think and know that Jesus is Lord, and He alone is to be trusted in all situations. It is easy to say that we are trusting Jesus when the waters are calm, but what about the times when the storms are raging? Because of His Divine authority, Jesus can be trusted in all situations. We will see that in addition to trusting Him in disasters, He can be trusted when it comes to demons, disease, and death. The point is He can be trusted in all things because Jesus is Lord over all. After seeing what Jesus did and hearing what he had said, the disciples were afraid. Before, it was the storm outside the boat that made them fearful, and now it is the Saviour inside the boat that made them fearful. When we truly come to grips with who Jesus truly is, it ought to humble us.
Then the disciples marvelled among themselves saying, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”. The question asked by the disciples is answered in this passage and will continue to be answered when we see the Lordship of Jesus Christ displayed in different situations throughout the rest of this chapter.
That time in the boat was a very special occasion. To think that the future Church that will extend across the globe will spread as a result of these men being faithful witnesses of the message of Jesus Christ. In that boat they learnt a powerful lesson. They learnt that Jesus is Lord over disasters. What lessons can we learn from this passage? Flowing out of that main lesson, here are two points.
As a result of the curse, creation has become corrupt. Thorns, weeds, and natural disasters are just some ways this corruption is seen. The consequences of sin have spread and it is an ugly picture.
But this world will not always be like this. How will it change? Not by human effort. The Bible teaches us that it will happen after Jesus leaves returns and leaves the largest carbon footprint you could ever imagine. After this He will restore creation to a paradise. In this Kingdom, Jesus will reign forever as King of kings and Lord of lords.