Jesus “replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” (Matthew 8:26)
Have you ever struggled with doubt? I know I have, and I still do.
In Matthew 8:23-34, we read about Jesus sleeping on a boat while he was with his disciples. A storm picks up and the disciples wake him, pleading with him to do something. Jesus speaks and the wind and waves grow silent. The people are stunned.
I would be, too.
The problem is that I live in the 21st century. We have Science, Doppler radar, the Weather Channel, and Google now. By nature, I am
Surely, there must be a natural explanation for the calming of the storm.
Stuff like this simply does not happen.
Perhaps there was some meteorological phenomenon going on that was left out of the story. Perhaps it was just a coincidence. Perhaps the story teller, Matthew, if it even was Matthew, made it all up. The whole story was just a concoction to make this “Jesus” sound more impressive than he really was.
Maybe you never entertain thoughts like these. Maybe you are the type of person absolutely convinced that the Bible never, ever can be wrong. You never dreamed of questioning the Bible.
I really admire that attitude, and I do believe, but it has never been that easy for me.
I suppose it has something to do with my personality. I tend to second guess everything. And I mean everything.
We bought a car last year. The guy said it was brand new. The first thing I did when I got the keys was open up the hood, check the car from top to bottom, just to make sure it was not a lemon and that I was not getting ripped off.
Jesus challenges me in my storm of doubt.
Everything in the Gospels points us towards the last week, the climax in Jerusalem. The earliest Christian confession was simply that Jesus Christ was crucified and then bodily risen from the dead.
Folks, it all comes down to the Resurrection. And if you can believe in the Resurrection, then the calming of the sea is just a piece of cake.
So, if you are reading along in the Gospel of Matthew this Lenten season, and you run across something that raises doubt in your mind, then that is perfectly OKAY. Ask questions.
Ask hard questions.
You do not have to believe everything in the Bible, simply to be able to read the Bible.
Just keep reading.
Matthew’s Gospel points us to the week of Easter with this single, radical claim: Jesus was nailed to the cross, and then raised up from the dead. And if you can believe that Jesus really did that, it will change everything. And I mean, everything.