Why Are Ye Fearful Matt. 8:23 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
When Jesus and his disciples sailed on the sea of Galilee from Capernaum to Gadara, a great tempest arose. Jesus was asleep and the disciples were scared to death. When they awakened Jesus, he asked them, Why are ye fearful? That’s a pretty strange question considering that the disciples thought their boat was about to sink. Nevertheless, it was a serious question and we would do well to ask ourselves why we are so fearful when we go through storms in our lives. The disciples were fearful because:
The tempest was great – Matt 8:24 – Lk 8:23 says it was a storm of wind that came down on the lake and Mk 4:37 says that the waves beat into the ship. There are storms in life that can make us feel like we are riding out a hurricane in a dinghy. He didn’t promise us smooth sailing.
The ship was full – Matt 8:24 – the ship was covered with the waves and they were filled with water [Lk 8:23]. It’s one thing to encounter a storm. It’s another thing altogether to try to ride out that storm when your boat is sinking.
They were perishing – Matt 8:25 – they said, “we perish.” To them this was not a life and death situation. This was just a death situation. They were literally scared to death.
Jesus was asleep – Matt 8:24 – in Mk 4:38 they asked, “carest thou not that we perish?” They knew Jesus was there but he didn’t seem to care. And he was in the back of the boat [Mk 4:38]. I mean, if Jesus really cared wouldn’t he be over here next to me screaming and shouting and bailing water as fast as he could?
They didn’t believe Jesus was God – Matt 8:27 – they asked and exclaimed, “What manner of man is this?” They had enough evidence by now to know he was not an ordinary man; these were the works of God [Matt 8:3, 13, 15, 16]. And had they believed that he was God they would have known that he could handle this storm, Ps 89:8-9. With God all things are possible. That’s one of the reasons that the Lord said, “O ye of little faith,” [Matt 8:26]. In Mk 4:40, he asked, “How is it that ye have no faith?”
They didn’t believe his word – Matt 8:18 – he gave commandment to depart unto the other side [Lk 8:22]. Someone could have said, “he said to ‘the other side,’ and we aren’t there yet.” So, don’t fear, we’ll get to the other side. We won’t perish. It may be rough sailing but we will arrive alive [Acts 27:20-25].
Conclusion: when you are in the midst of a storm in your life, you must trust the Lord. Your fear is an indication of a lack of faith. You’re looking at the storm, the condition of your boat and the prospects of your survival. Go find Jesus and look at him and believe his words. He’s in the boat with you!!