CALL TO OBEDIENCE #393
Reimar A.C. Schultze
"Is Jesus Asleep in Your Boat?"
By Pastor Reimar A. C. Schultze
And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship… And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? (Mark 4:35-41).
Let us observe that the decision to cross the lake at evening time, when darkness was beginning to settle in across the land, was Jesus’ decision. Jesus, the Creator of the universe, the Savior of mankind, the Son of God and the Son of Man; was the One who said at evening time, Let us pass over unto the other side.
Now, let me ask you the following questions: Did Jesus consider the weariness of the disciples when He said, Let us pass over…? Did He consider the danger of getting lost in the dark by crossing at nighttime? Did Jesus consider the weather that could come up quickly at night when you could not see? The answer to all these questions is: No! Would such a decision ever come out of man’s wisdom or reason? I doubt it. Jesus’ decisions all came by revelation. To Him, the only safety and wisdom were in the will of God. There are times, my friend, when Jesus will tell you to cross over to the other side when all is dark, without asking whether you are tired or feel up to going. He already knows all that. There are times when Jesus will ask you to go on a journey for which you lack the supplies to get you there. There are times when Jesus asks you to see someone who does not want to see you.
Friend, when Jesus asks you to go somewhere, do something, or say something - do not look at the circumstances, do not ask questions inviting doubt, look to Him only. Believe in Him. Remember, when all your resources are gone, God still has plenty of resources in reserve.
And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. Let us review that day. It began by Jesus getting into a boat, and teaching a great and vast multitude from it. And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. And he taught them many things by parables... (Mark 4:1-2). And He did this until the evening. The longest I have ever preached was two hours, and after that I was exhausted. My voice was tired; my body was tired. But Jesus preached all day. Can you imagine how He felt that evening? And then, despite of all this, He said, Let us pass over unto the other side. They did not have any motorboat in those days; it was a matter of pure, sheer, physical energy to cross that lake.
Friends, there may be times, that in spite of our weariness at prayer meetings, Jesus may say, Let us pass over unto the other side. Pray on, and pray on, until morning comes. Over and over again, God draws us into the supernatural. And, no matter how you feel, just do it! I believe that all day long the disciples had been looking forward to a wonderful evening with supper and rest, but just as it was time to sit down and eat and rest, He said, Let us pass over unto the other side.
Then the Bible says, they took Him in the ship as He was. That means there was no time to provide a meal for Him, a few minutes for rest, or a coat for Him during the approaching cool night. They took Him, the Bible says, as He was in the ship. And Hallelujah, the disciples began to row, tired, exhausted, hungry and with empty stomachs, into the darkness of the night.
Oh my friends, so many Christians talk of their wonderful times with Jesus and how everything is going so nicely, easily and pleasantly with Him. My friend, it does not always go like that. If you are a stranger to thorns and spiritual warfare, you are a stranger to the Lord. If you are a follower of Jesus, you will experience a bumpy road, bringing you to your knees from time to time. But it will always be worth it. Victory is always assured. If you truly follow Jesus, He will often send you rowing into the dark of the night, when you are exhausted, hungry and thirsty. The Amplified Bible says: And a furious storm of wind [of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled (Mark 4:37). It does not say a “storm,” but a “furious storm” of wind. It was cold; they were hungry and weak; the wind was howling; the waves were surging and filling the boat with water; and it was all in darkness. They had to yell to hear each other, and when they could row no more because the boat was full of water, they looked for Jesus. And Jesus was fast asleep on a pillow soaked with water, and the rest of His body was submerged in water. This tells us how tired Jesus was, and it tells us that Jesus could rest and trust in any circumstance of life. Oh, I believe there is a lesson here. There are times when you and I are doing all that Jesus asks us to do, knocking ourselves out, giving our last ounce of strength, and instead of finding Him there to comfort and help us, He appears to be sound asleep so that it seems to us that He does not care if we perish.
These disciples were not sissies. They had lived by the sea; they had worked it and understood it. So they knew that the storm was bad and they were perishing. At times we will also say we are perishing, and then when we come to our wits’ end, we will start crying out, Master carest thou not that we perish? (Mark 4:38). The cry came simply because:
1. The disciples were so engaged in their troubles that they forgot that Jesus was in the boat with them all along. The first mistake people make when they are in serious trouble is they get so absorbed in the negatives that they forget Whose they are and Who sent them.
2. The disciples did not yet really know the immensity of the power of their Lord: unlimited. They still did not know that with Him in the boat they would never perish. When you are in God’s will, no matter how dismal it looks all around you, you will never perish!
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm (Mark 4:39). Jesus will always arise to the occasion when it is time. His garments were soaked, water was dripping down His hair and face and running onto His chest. Thus, He arose in the midst of the storm, and rebuked it. He said three words: Peace, be still, and the wind went to bed. Oh, my friend, I want you to know that Jesus will arise for you as you call upon Him. He will arise and say, “Sins be forgiven, heartaches be gone, troubles be cast away, storms cease, waters be calm.”
These things will happen to you when Jesus bids you to obey Him, and you go and do and toil all night without sleep, food and comfort. If you as a disciple will take up your cross and follow Him, and call upon Him in time of trouble, Jesus will do for you what He did for those first disciples. Oh, my friend, because the disciples obeyed Jesus when it cost them everything and because they did not make excuses of being tired and hungry, they witnessed one of the greatest miracles: a hurricane stopped in a split second by three words spoken by the Son of God, a man of flesh and blood. Have you ever considered what all the excuse makers miss on their journey through life?
When Jesus tells you to pass over, just do it. Do not look at your circumstances nor at your limited resources, but only look to Him. Indeed, you may get wet, but you will cross over. Yes, even in total darkness, Jesus found the exact spot on that 13 mile shoreline where a man was waiting to be set free: And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains (Mark 5:1-3).