Pastor's Corner

Read - Isaiah 40:1-13; Jeremiah 29:11

A deeper look at what our Lord did to calm the fears of His disciples on the sea of Galilee one particular evening has often been overlooked thus, missing its deeper meaning and robbing the reader of realizing just how much Jesus was attached to His disciples (Matt 8:26).

The three synoptic gospels Matthew, Mark and Luke records Jesus rebuking the winds which was causing the disciple to be fearful of drowning. The text uses the Greek word “epitimao” for the word “rebuked.” This word means to admonish, forbid, direct as well as rebuke. Also embedded in this Greek word “epitimao” is the root word “timao.” This Greek word means to value, to esteem to the highest, and deem precious. What the text is telling us, in a real sense, is that our Lord felt close to His disciples, like a shepherd loving and protecting His sheep, He just didn’t speak to the wind and waves, He rebuked (admonished) the elements for terrifying and upsetting His disciples while they were with Him. Christ loved them. Today, so many of us are afraid of so many things. Christ will do the same for us today. He loves us.

Can you imagine our Lord shaking His finger at the wind and waves in protection of His disciples? Usually our Lord just speaks and nature obeys. In this instance His action personifies the wind and waves as if they were people. And in a sense, He told the storm to “back off” of His disciples. This is a very tender picture of care and comforting. In short, Jesus didn’t want His disciples disturbed for He was in the process of teaching them to trust Him along with the newly-found powers they just witnessed He had. ”What manner of man is this that the wind and waves obey Him?” This also was an object lesson Jesus intended to use for teaching His disciples about faith and fear.

When our Lord states that He is the “Good Shepherd” He is telling us that He loves us the very same way and with the same intensity (John 10 :11)
God also comforts us by giving us promises we can count on; the kind of promises that will never fail to come to pass. How often are children comforted in their unhappiness when their mother makes a promise to them giving them that hope of future joy and happiness? God operates the very same way with His children often time, in spite of their unacceptable behavior at times. In the Book of Isaiah we read of God making a hopeful promise to His children who are now in Babylonian captivity. The prophet, Isaiah, is God’s spokesman here, “Comfort, O comfort my people, says our God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and tell her sad days are gone. Her sins are pardoned, and the Lord will give her twice as many blessings as He have her punishment” (Isa 40:1-2). These are God’s promises to us today, plus more, because of Christ’s death.

At this point in Jewish history all of Judah had not been taken to Babylon. Some of its citizens were left in Jerusalem. They were still listening to the false prophets whom God did not send. They were given false hope, but living with an uneasy truce with Babylon. This in spite of what the Prophet had been telling them. “Build homes and plan to stay, plant vineyards for you will be in Babylon many years. Marry and have children, multiply” (Jer 29:11). “But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised and bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. You will find Me when you seek Me, if you look for me in earnest” (Jer 29:10-13).

Today Christians friends let’s agree together that our old life is past and we’re moving forward in Christ. This we can do based upon His promise to us that He comes to give us life and give to us more abundantly (John 10:10).