Thursday, June 15, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum


Divine Engagement Leads to Faith in God.
      
Lijy Jogy Kochamma
Epiphany MTC, NY

V25. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”


In Luke’s hands, the story of stilling the storm moves directly through the description of danger and the request of disciples for deliverance, which is a little different from Mark’s account. Mark’s account (Mark 4: 35-41 ) provides some details, including the elements of time, the crowd, the other boats, the waves hitting the boat, the cushion, the stern, Jesus’ words of rebuke, and the disciples’ fear.

After Jesus commands  the winds and the sea to be calm, He poses the  question to His disciples, “Where is your faith?” And the disciples, astonished at the miracle, ask a question to themselves, “Who then is this, that he command even winds and water, and they obey him?” Both the accounts conclude with these same questions.  But Luke omits the disciples’ concern, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38).

This is the only sea miracle in Luke, in contrast to Mark and Matthew, who also report Jesus’ walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52).

Because He was tired, Jesus slept in the boat. The humanity of Jesus is well explained here. But as the storm began to rage the scared disciples woke Him up, saying,  “Master, Master, we are perishing!” When He calmed the storm, the divinity of Jesus Christ is affirmed, proving that Jesus is the Lord of the entire cosmos.

The story makes it clear that at this point the disciple still do not understand who Jesus is. That is why He rebukes them, “Why are you afraid?” Luke also points to the change in  the disciples’ address to Jesus, from “Teacher” to “Master,” a title that Luke uses of Jesus in other miracle stories (5:5; 8:45; 9:33, 49; 17:13).

The story is an Epiphany, a manifestation of Jesus’ divine power and identity. The presence of Jesus in the boat was the encouraging factor. The event leads the reader to two questions: one that concerns the nature and level of the reader’s faith, and the other that leads the reader to  reconsider who Jesus is – His identity.

As the disciples feared for their lives, they sought the help of the Savior and were redeemed. For them, that led to another factor: the fear of God. Any divine engagement in our lives should generate in us the faith in the Omnipotent God.

PRAYER

O’ Lord, the source of all creation, help us to affirm that Jesus is the Lord over nature and make us to see the divine intervention in each experience in our life. Amen

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Have we ever seen Grace as the divine engagement in our struggle against the worldly power?