Food for Friday

And when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him. Matthew 8:23

Every day, people embark on what they assume are ordinary events that turn out to have life-changing consequences. Consider the passengers that boarded the Titanic on her maiden (and only) voyage. Consider the passengers that boarded the flights that were commandeered by terrorists on September 11, 2001. Consider even the many people who started out for work yesterday morning and were involved in car accidents on the way. None of those people had any inkling of the disasters about to occur, or they would never have gone. If the disciples in our text had known about the great tempest that was about to engulf Galilee, they would never have embarked on that journey. And in doing so, they would have been the losers.

When the Lord Jesus entered that ship, He knew all about the coming storm. What transpired had no surprises for Him at all. And yet, He entered the ship. And He took the disciples with Him. He did not inform them of the coming storm, nor of the way in which He would calm the elements. He had a valuable lesson to teach them about Himself. They would learn of His control of storms, of His almighty power, and of His care and protection of them in the circumstances. They needed to experience the tempest to learn these lessons. By following Him, they saw not only the wind and waves of the tempest but also the control the Lord has over all the stormy times.

Being a disciple of the Lord Jesus was not a boring occupation. As they would later recall their years of following Him, the disciples would recount many exciting and unusual events, especially the miracles they saw and experienced. And the calming of the storm was just one of those great events. By following the Lord Jesus, you and I have never seen all the dramatic miracles that those disciples beheld. But we have seen the hand of the Lord in marvellous ways in our lives. We have seen Him bring us to Himself and enter His great salvation. We have witnessed answers to prayer, and heard many others tell of the same. We have been given daily provision, protection, and power as we have lived our Christian lives. We have known of our Lord’s compassion and care, and of the strength and encouragement He has imparted to us. None of this would ever have been ours if we had not simply followed Him.

Today is another ship into which we embark with the Lord Jesus. Whether we sail into high adventure or calm waters, the Lord Jesus is with us to bless and preserve. -Jim MacIntosh

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