The Galilean shores were no promenade for Jesus; it was the staging ground for a divine expedition. He didn't stroll; he strode with a resolute purpose. His gaze scanned the waters, as he sought those souls whom he wished to join him for the great adventure. His call is not a gentle invitation but an irresistible summons that sails across the tides of time, inviting those he calls to do more than merely dip their toes into spiritual tidal pools, but to launch into the deep with him.
The call rings out clear and true. There’s no confusion, no wondering from whence the call comes. It’s a command that so many have heard throughout the ages. It isn't a passive whisper lost in the wind; it's a divine directive that pierces through the ordinary drudgery of life. Just as Peter, Andrew, James, and John were captured by this call, we too are beckoned to board the ship as his wide-eyed disciples, joining Jesus on a vessel, not of human making, but of divine craftsmanship.
Think about old Noah’s ark; a vessel navigating the tumultuous sea, that speaks to us of salvation amidst God’s furious judgment and the storms of life that follow. It's a symbol not of human endeavor but of God's provision, a floating sanctuary where faith and trust converge. Then there’s the calming of the storm, a manifestation of God’s authority over the chaos. It’s a prelude to the divine promise of safe passage for us too, through the fury and foreboding of existence.
The rising waves and the falling dark are not adversaries that thwart our course but the dramatic backdrop against which the narrative of our salvation unfolds. Doubt might assail us, and fear might threaten us, yet in response, the Lord will rouse us. And one more thing; this isn't our desperate cry into the void. It's a confident invocation of the One who walks upon the waters and stills the raging storms. His presence transforms the turbulent seas into the calm waters of faith.
At the same time, the call of Jesus is not a call to a life of ease. It’s an adventure of cosmic significance. So yes, doubt will knock on the door, and fear will cast its shadow, but Jesus’ faithfulness is the anchor that steadies us. When the storms of life surge we needn’t panic because, in confident assurance, he who commands the wind and the waves is always with us.
Doubt will knock on the door, and fear will cast its shadow, but Jesus’ faithfulness is the anchor that steadies us.
This picture of the quieting storm amplifies the divine authority of Jesus over the waters that he has held since the beginning of creation. The chaotic abyss that we read about in Genesis 1, is a symbol for the deep darkness that always threatens to overwhelm and annihilate us. Yet it is easily subdued by the One who speaks and commands the abyss. And this is not merely a demonstration of power by Jesus, but a prelude to the promise of safe passage through the storms of life to the safe harbor of our true heavenly home.
With Christ, we launch headlong into the abyss of temptations and trials that threaten to overwhelm and end us. But with the One who calls us to venture forth with him, we never have to wonder if our voyage is an arbitrary drift. It is always a purposeful voyage charted for us by the divine Captain. So then, the chaos we encounter doesn't negate our faith but becomes the backdrop against which our faith is strengthened and Christ’s love and care for us is an ever-deepening revelation. It is actually by being led into the abyss that we discover the unwavering constancy of Christ's presence.
This is summed up powerfully, and wonderfully, by the psalmist who sings in Psalm 65:
But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time:
O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink:
let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up,
and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good:
turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies…
The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.
For the Lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein. (Ps. 65:13-16, 32-34, KJV)
In much the same way that Peter, Andrew, James, and John could not have known what they were in for when Jesus called them to follow him, neither do we. And yet, we do know for certain that, like them, Jesus will lead us through the deep waters onto the dry land of that celestial shore, where he will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, because the old things, like doubt and fear and death, have passed away. And the One seated on the throne, our Divine Navigator, will say to us, “Behold, I make all things new” (based on Revelation 21:4).