“Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
Seriously? I’m about to face death and you question my faith?! Can you be any more insensitive to my fear??!!! I’m not lying when I feel offended and a bit miffed within this storyline. The fact that Jesus stops the storm is a nice salve, but there is still a wound there. And I’ve been wrestling this week as to why. Why do I feel this way? Granted, I know (by faith) that in the past I’ve struggled with offense. But why? I’ve asked that question of myself all week. Perhaps it’s that I want others to be sensitive to my fears and emotions, especially ones that I deem “legit.” Being this close to death makes it feel “legit.” But is it? Strangely the only fear that Jesus comforts is the fear of himself:
1) When Peter catches the fish and sees Jesus as he is and tells him to leave, Jesus says to Peter,
“Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”
2) When he walks on the water, he comforts the disciples who think he is a ghost,
“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Mt 14:27).
3) At the mount of transfiguration he tells them,
“Get up…don’t be afraid” (Mt 17:7).
4) When he is resurrected and he appears in the room, he says to the disciples,
“Do not be afraid…” (Mark 1:10)
And yet when the disciples fear they will die, Jesus says “Were is your faith?” Maybe this is because if he were to comfort that fear, it would validate it and the fear would remain. Confronting it head on was the best way to uproot it. Fear. We can’t help but think of these verses:
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mt 10:28).
“Perfect love casts out fear” (1 Jn 4:18).
Perhaps it wasn’t just the fear for their lives that Jesus was addressing, but he was calling them to a greater fear–himself. This is the fear we need. And I think after he calmed the storm, the fear factor for Jesus rose.
It’s not comfortable for my fears to be confronted, but it is good and I want to receive that. It’s not that I don’t have fears. We all would be lying if we said we didn’t. But I want my fear of Him to be even greater than the fears of this earth, even if it is the fear of death. I think this is what Jesus was addressing. It’s not small business:
Isaiah 8:13: “The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, He is the one you are to fear, He is the one you are to dread, and He will be a sanctuary.”