Gospels of Storms & the Witness of A Jesus Who Shows Up

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the seventh chapter of this New Testament book. “Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: For he loveth our nation, and he hath build us a synagogue. Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter unto my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick” (Luke 7:1-10).

            “And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came night to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. And this rumour of him went forth thoughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about” (Luke 7:11-17).

            “And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things. And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? Or look we for another? When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? Or look we for another? And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to se? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say not you, and much more a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him” (Luke 7:18-30).

            “And the LORD said, whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? And to what are they like? They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. For John the Bpatist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children” (Luke 7:31-35).

            “And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I supposed that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the haris of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace” (Luke 7:36-50).

            NOW WHEN HE HAD ENDED ALL HIS SAYINGS! When you come into this particular portion of Scripture you will find and encounter an incredibly powerful transition within the public life and ministry of Jesus. The seventh chapter begins with the words “Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.” It is actually quite interesting to read the words which are found in this particular portion of Scripture, for in order to understand that context surrounding it you must needs turn and direct your attention to the words which are presented before us in the previous chapter. If you take the time to read the words which are found in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke you will find and encounter an incredibly powerful teaching of Jesus which directly mirrors that which we find in chapters five through seven of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. Upon reading the words and language found in this portion of Scripture you will quickly be brought face to face with the teaching of Jesus which He spoke while in the land and region of Galilee after He had returned unto Galilee full of the person, the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of that which is presented before us in the latter half of the sixth chapter, for the teaching that is found there should directly challenge us within our walk as disciples and followers of Jesus in this life. Perhaps one of the greatest lessons found in the previous chapter of this New Testament book is when you consider the fact that Jesus actually provided additional context around something which we find and read in the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. If you turn and direct your attention to the words found in the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel written by the apostle Matthew you will find the following words concerning those who will enter into the presence of Jesus at the expiration of time as they stand before Him in His presence. Consider you will the following words which are written and recorded in the seventh chapter of the gospel narrative written by Matthew concerning those who will stand before Jesus in that day:

            “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree being forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name have done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:13-23).

            Please don’t miss the words which are found in this portion of Scripture, for the words we find here are perhaps some of the most sobering and some of the most challenging words in all of Scripture. To think that it is possible to enter into the realm of eternity and stand before the presence of Jesus, and to think that it is possible to even call and profess Him as “Lord, Lord,” and yet not be granted access into His presence is completely and utterly terrifying. What’s more, is that as you read the words found in this portion of Scripture you will find Jesus emphatically declaring and proclaiming that not every one who says unto Him “Lord, Lord,” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Furthermore, Jesus would go on to declare that only those who do the will of the Father which is in heaven will actually gain entrance and access. As you continue reading the words found in this portion of Scripture you will find that Jesus goes on to further describe and declare those who will say unto Him in that day how they prophesied in His name, how they cast out devils in His name, and how they did many wonderful works in His name. Not only this, but there will be many in that day who will even profess Jesus as “Lord, Lord,” and yet instead of hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joys prepared for you since the foundation of the world,” they will actually hear Jesus profess unto them, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Stop and consider the tremendous tension surrounding those words and those three phrases which Jesus don’t state only a few will hear in that day, but that “many” will hear in that day. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that there will be many in that day who will confess and profess Jesus, saying, “Lord, Lord,” and yet there will be “many” who will hear three distinct phrases that should produce a tremendous amount of fear and caution within your heart: “I never knew you,” “Depart from me,” “Ye that work iniquity.” How absolutely incredible it is to think about the fact that there are going to be many—not a few—who in that day will confess and profess Jesus as Lord, and yet many will hear Jesus declare unto them that He never knew them, that they were workers of iniquity, and will also be instructed to depart from Him.

            It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture, for it is further explained and expounded upon in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke. As you read the words which are found in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke you will find and encounter the same language in the same context as what we find in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. I am convinced that we have a great need to focus on the language that is presented before us in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel written by Luke, for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible severity and importance of what is written in the gospel of Matthew. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of what is presented here in the sixth chapter, for it helps provide further context surrounding the words recorded in the gospel of Matthew, as well as provide a climactic conclusion to the words Luke recorded Jesus saying and speaking unto the people. In all reality, I have to admit that we have a great and powerful need within our hearts and lives to fully understand and recognize what is presented before us in both of these passages, for they bring us face to face with how what we do in this life directly impacts and reflects upon the reality and manifestation of what we can and will experience in the next life. We dare not, we must not, and we should not lose sight of that which is found in the sixth chapter of the gospel written and recorded by Luke, for it forces us to further acknowledge the truth surrounding what Jesus spoke and what is recorded in the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found written and recorded in the final verses of the sixth chapter in the New Testament gospel written by Luke:

            “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great”  (Luke 6:46-49).

            The words which we find here further confirm the words which the apostle Matthew wrote and recorded in the seventh chapter of the gospel he wrote, and finds Jesus asking those to whom He was speaking why they called Him “Lord, Lord,” and did not the things which He said. Pause for a moment and consider those words, for they provide an even greater context for what was written in the seventh chapter of the gospel narrative of Matthew. It is in the seventh chapter of the gospel according to Matthew that we find Jesus emphatically declaring that not everyone who calls Him, “Lord, Lord” will enter into the kingdom of heaven. What’s more, is that Jesus goes on to describe how only those who do the will of His Father would be those who actually enter into and see the kingdom of heaven. In the gospel narrative written by Luke, however, we find something different, for within this gospel we find Jesus asking those unto whom He was speaking why they called Him, “Lord, Lord,” and did not the things which He said and which He spoke. Please don’t miss the importance of what is found within these two portions of Scripture, for the words we find here not only bring us face to face with doing the will of the Father, but also doing those things which Jesus spoke, taught and commanded. In all reality, we must not read these two portions of Scripture independently from each other as if there is somehow a disparity between the two statements. On the one hand we find Jesus asking those to whom He was speaking why they called Him Lord, Lord and did not those things which He spoke, and on the other hand we find Jesus declaring that not everyone who does in fact call Him Lord, Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that there is a direct link and connection between doing the will of the Father and doing the things which Jesus has spoken, taught, instructed and commanded.

            I am sitting here today thinking about the words and language found within both of these passages of Scripture and I can’t help but be brought face to face with the fact that there is no, nor should there be any distinction between the will of the Father and that which Jesus taught and spoke. We must needs realize and understand that the words Jesus spoke, and the words Jesus taught, and the words Jesus commanded and preached were in direct alignment with the divine will of the Father and were a direct extension and reflection of that will. We ought not miss and lose sight of how incredibly powerful this truth truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the wonderful truth surrounding Jesus’ words as being an extension and manifestation of the will of the Father upon the earth. When we read those words which are written in red within the gospels—even in the epistles, the book of Acts, and the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ—we must needs realize that anything Jesus spoke was a direct reflection of both the heart and mind of the Father. What’s more, is that we must needs recognize and understand the awesome and powerful truth surrounding Jesus’ words and how they are directly linked and connected to the divine will of the Father. We ought not to miss this incredibly powerful point, for to do so means that we somehow segregate and separate the words which Jesus spoke and the divine will of the Father. Time and time again—particularly and especially in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John—we find Jesus emphatically declaring that He did not come to do His will, but rather to do the will of the Father who was in heaven. In the fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by John we find this reality fully and completely manifested within the life of Jesus as He would state and proclaim that He did not come to do His will, but the will of the One who had sent Him. While there were certain times which Jesus did in fact make the declaration that “this was the will of the Father,” we must acknowledge and understand the fact that everything Jesus taught and everything Jesus spoke was an expression and manifestation of the Father and His will.

            It is quite remarkable and quite powerful to read and consider the words which are written and recorded in the seventh chapter of the gospel written by the apostle Matthew and the words which are written and recorded in the sixth chapter of the gospel written by the beloved physician Luke, for they not only speak of those who call Jesus, Lord, Lord, but they also speak of doing the will of the Father which is in heaven, as well as doing those things which Jesus spoke and commanded. We know that the apostle Paul—when writing unto the saints which were at Rome—boldly and unreservedly proclaimed unto them that if they confessed with their mouth the Lord Jesus, and believed in their heart they would be saved. These words bring us to the place where we recognize that our confession that Jesus is Lord is indeed part of the process whereby we experience salvation, for we also know that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. With this being said, however, we must needs recognize and understand that it is possible to call Jesus “Lord, Lord” and not do what He says. It is possible to call Jesus “Lord, Lord” and not even do the will of the Father. What makes these words so incredibly challenging is not only that it is possible to call Jesus “Lord, Lord” and not do the will of the Father, nor do what He spoke and commanded, but it is also possible to neither do the will of the Father, nor that which the Son has spoken, and at the same time prophesy many things in the name of Jesus, do any mighty and wonderful works, and even cast out demons. Stop and consider the fact that it is possible to prophesy, cast out demons, and do many wonderful works in the name of Jesus, and even call Him, “Lord, Lord,” and yet neither do the will of the Father, nor do what He has spoken and commanded. Not only this, but it is also possible to prophesy many things in the name of Jesus Christ, it is possible to cast out devils, and even do many wonderful works, and still be one who works iniquity and one who is not known at all in heaven by Jesus the Christ. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the tremendous truth surrounding these words and how sobering they truly are within our hearts and lives, and how they should at the same time prompt a wonderful and powerful sense of self-examination within our hearts, our minds and souls.

            As you continue reading the words which are found within these chapters you will read of something else which makes this subject all the more interesting—something which is a present reality within and throughout all four of the gospel narratives. The words which you find in these passages of Scripture are absolutely astounding when you take the time to think about and consider them, for they call and draw our attention to the fact that Jesus would also describe two different types of people when speaking at this time. It’s interesting to note that both the seventh chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew, as well as the words which are found in the sixth chapter of the gospel written by the beloved physician Luke conclude with Jesus speaking about two different types of people—two different types of people and yet which had two distinct similarities and commonalities. In the final verses of the sixth chapter of the gospel written by Luke we find Jesus speaking of those who heard His words and did them, as well as those who heard His words and did not do them. What’s more, is that as you continue reading the words found in this portion and passage of Scripture you will find Jesus describing both of these groups of people as being those who would experience the flood rising up, and the stream beating vehemently on the house. If there is one thing we must needs realize, recognize and understand when we read the words presented before us in this passage of Scripture it’s that both groups of people found in these portions of Scripture would have access to the words of Christ, and both groups of people would experience storms. Stop for a moment and think about the fact that within this portion of Scripture we find that storms within this life are absolutely and utterly inevitable, and how storms come unto and within the lives of those who hear the words which Jesus spoke and do them, as well as those who hear the words of Jesus Christ and don’t do them. We have a great need to recognize and understand this, for it calls and draws our attention to something which is a theme within and throughout the four gospel narratives. There is not a doubt within my mind that we have a great need to pay close attention to what is presented before us here in these portions of Scripture, for we are brought to the place where we not only acknowledge whether or not we are people who hear and do the words of Christ, but also what happens to our houses in the midst of the storms we all face within our lives. Consider if you will the following words which are written and recorded in the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew in the final verses:

            “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish men, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24-27).

            Please don’t miss and lose sight of the words which are found within this portion of Scripture, for with these words Jesus wonderfully and powerfully presents us with two distinct groups of people, yet two groups of people who face and experience the very same thing within their lives. What’s important to realize and understand when reading the words found within this portion of Scripture is when you consider the fact that regardless of whether or not you heard the words of Christ and did them, or whether you heard the words and did not do them, you were still subject to the storms within this life. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for as you read the four gospel narratives you will find that storms were inevitable within and throughout the lives of those who encountered Jesus on a daily basis during those three and a half years He was present within and upon the earth. You cannot read the four gospels and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the lives of those individuals whom Jesus interacted with, for there would be a great number of men and women who experienced Jesus in the midst of the storms which were swirling within and throughout their lives. It is absolutely impossible to read the words found within the four gospels and not encounter and experience the truly wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the hearts and lives of those whom Jesus encountered within and throughout those three and a half years, for Jesus would indeed and would in fact interact with countless individuals who would face, experience and walk through storms in their lives. The gospels are replete with example after example of those whom Jesus would interact with—and not only interact with, but whom He would interact with as they walked through the storms within their lives. If and as we read the four gospel narratives written by the gospel authors we must needs recognize and understand that the four gospel narratives must in fact be understood as the gospels of storms—and not only gospels of storms, but gospels of storms which men and women face within and throughout their lives. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that as much as the four gospels are gospel narratives about the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, they are also gospels surrounding the countless storms which men and women faced throughout their lives.

            If I’m being honest with you who might be reading the words found within these writings I have to admit that I am beginning to see the gospel narratives as being about so much more than simply Jesus the Christ, but about the countless lives in which He touched. I am absolutely and completely convinced that when we read the four gospel narratives which were written by the gospel authors we must needs understand them in direct context of the stories which were intrinsically linked and connected to Jesus. What I am so absolutely gripped and captivated with and by is that while you can’t have the gospels without and apart from Jesus, you cannot have the gospels without the stories directly linked and connected to Jesus. The gospels are indeed gospels surrounding the person of Jesus Christ, however, you cannot understand the life and ministry of Jesus Christ apart from the lives He touched within and throughout those three and a half years He walked among us as the Word made flesh. In all reality, I have to admit that I have always read the four gospel narratives as being directly linked and connected to the life of Jesus Christ alone and honestly never viewed the gospels as being more than simply gospels concerning Christ. I sit here right now thinking about the fact that the four gospel narratives written by the gospel authors are indeed and are in fact gospel narratives written concerning the direct impact Jesus made in the lives of those whom He encountered on a daily and regular basis. The four gospel narratives are about so much more than just the life of Jesus Christ, for the gospel narratives are about the lives of those men and women who were going through it within their lives. Oh you cannot read the four gospel narratives written concerning the life of Jesus Christ and not see men and women who were simply “going through it.” Each of the four gospel narratives present us with and paint a powerful picture of the various storms which men and women faced and experience within and throughout their lives—a truth we ought not and must not miss and lose sight of. There is a great need to read the four gospel narratives and read them through the lens of Jesus’ entrance into the storms which those before and around Him walked through and experienced. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the two passages found within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew concerning Jesus’ presence in the midst of storms:

            “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great temptest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 8:23-27).

            “And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disicples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (Matthew 14:22-33).

            Each of these passages present us with two distinct encounters and experiences which were found within the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, and two specific storms which His disciples would experience. In the case of the first storm we find Jesus present with the disciples in the midst of the ship—and not only in the midst of the ship, but also in the midst of the storm. In the case of the first storm we find Jesus sleeping in the midst of the ship in the midst of the storm in the midst of the sea, and how His disciples would come unto Him fearful and anxious because of the storm which they had experienced. Scripture records how Jesus would arise from the place He was sleeping, would first speak unto the disciples and essentially calm the storm which was present within their hearts and souls, and then speaking unto the storm itself. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the tremendous truth that in this first storm Jesus would be present with the disciples in the midst of the storm, and how even though He was sleeping in the midst of it, He would awaken and arise at the cry of the disciples. It would be upon His awakening from His sleep and slumber Jesus would first rebuke the storm within the disciples before then rebuking the actual storm which both He and the disciples were in the midst of. This is quite interesting when you think about and consider it in light of what is found later on within the gospel written by the apostle Matthew, for Matthew would write of the disciples once more finding themselves in the midst of a storm in the midst of the sea, and how this time around Jesus would not be present in the ship with them. Instead of being in the storm with them Jesus was sending the crowds and multitudes away whom He had just fed before going up into a mountain to pray. It would be while Jesus was upon the mountain He would look upon the sea and see the disciples laboring and toiling in the midst of the storm because the wind and the waves were contrary to them. As a direct result of this Jesus would come unto the disciples walking on the water and walking in the midst of the storm.

            I sit here today thinking about the narratives surrounding these two storms, and I can’t help but be absolutely and incredibly captivated with the fact that the disciples found themselves in the midst of two storms, and yet in the case of the one storm Jesus was actually present with them in the midst of the storm, while in the other case Jesus would come unto them walking in the midst of the storm. I am absolutely and completely convinced there is something to be said about Jesus being with us in the midst of our storms, and Jesus coming unto us in the midst of the storms we face. I firmly believe there are times within our lives when Jesus is present with us in the midst of our storms and is present with us in the midst of the ship, while there are other times when Jesus actually comes unto us in the midst of the storm. What makes the second storm all the more intriguing when you think about it is that not only did Jesus come unto the disciples in the midst of the storm walking upon the water in the middle of the wind and the waves, but Jesus would also invite Simon called Peter to come unto Him upon the waters. Oh how truly incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that the disciples would all be found in the midst of the storm, and they would all witness and behold Jesus walking unto them in the midst of the storm—although they would initially be unable to recognize Jesus in the midst of the storm. It wouldn’t be until Jesus spoke in the midst of the storm that their fear and anxiety seemed to be distilled and quelled within their hearts and souls. It would be Simon called Peter who would speak up and declare unto Jesus that if it was indeed Him then He would bid him to come unto Him walking upon the water in the midst of the storm. We aren’t sure, nor are we presented with anything that suggests whether or not Simon was expecting Jesus to bid him to come, however, we know that Jesus did indeed and did in fact bid him to come unto Him. What Scripture records is that when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go unto Jesus.

            What I so love about this second storm is that initially the disciples would not recognize that it was Jesus who was coming unto them in the midst of the storm, for they had no context, nor framework for Jesus walking upon the waters and coming unto them in the midst of the storm. Here we find Jesus completely and utterly shattering the context of who they thought and believed Him to be, for Jesus would not only enter into their storm, and would not only walk unto them in the midst of the storm, but Jesus would also speak unto them in the midst of the storm. Oh we ought to recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in this portion of Scripture, for there is something powerful about Jesus coming unto us in the midst of our storm, our being unable to recognize Jesus in the midst of the storm, and Jesus speaking to us in the midst of the storm. There is something powerful about Jesus coming to us in the midst of the storm, and even when we don’t recognize Him in the midst of the storm He not only speaks to us, but also invites us to walk and come unto Him in the midst of that storm. It is something worth thinking about and considering when reading the words which are found in this portion of Scripture, for the words which we find here bring us face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding Jesus’ walking to us in the midst of the storm, Jesus speaking to us in the midst of the storm, and Jesus inviting us to come unto Him in the midst of the storm. What’s more, is we must needs understand that the storm didn’t stop the minute He began walking in the midst of it; nor did the storm stop the minute Jesus spoke in the midst of the storm; and Jesus didn’t stop the storm so Peter could come unto Him walking on the water. You will notice that the storm didn’t stop until Jesus and Peter had both come up into the ship there in the midst of the sea. Oh how truly incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that the storm didn’t stop when Jesus started walking on the water in the midst of it—despite the fact the storm could have stopped the minute Jesus entered into it. The storm didn’t stop when Jesus started speaking in the midst of the storm—although it could very well have done so. Neither did the storm stop when Jesus beckoned unto Peter to come unto Him in the midst of the storm, thus indicating Peter would have to get out of the ship and step upon the water—even though it could have.

            There is something which we must needs realize, recognize and understand when thinking about and consider the words which are found within these passages of Scripture, for the words which we find here bring us face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding Jesus in the midst of the storms we face within our lives, for we would think Jesus would and could stop the storms we face, and yet the truth of the matter is that Jesus doesn’t always stop the storms immediately and right away. We would like to think that Jesus would come unto us in the midst of the storms we face within our hearts and lives, and yet the truth is that Jesus doesn’t always stop the storms immediately and right away. We must needs think about, realize and understand the fact that Jesus could have stopped the storm and caused the winds and the waves to cease the minute He began walking on the water and in the midst of the waves, and yet He didn’t. Jesus could have chosen to caused the storm to cease as He spoke unto the disciples there upon the water in the midst of the wind and the waves, and yet He deliberately and intentionally chose not to. Jesus could have even stopped the storm before bidding Peter to come unto Him in the midst of the storm, and yet Jesus chose to continue to let the storm rage. What’s more, is that although Jesus would indeed and ultimately rescue Peter as he began sinking in the midst of the waters, He would allow Peter to begin to sink as he took his eyes off Jesus and began looking at how boisterous the wind and the waves were. Oh that we would recognize and understand this, for one of the greatest truths we have found ourselves facing and encountering over the past year is that countless men and women have entered into and experienced countless storms within their lives. There have been a number of men and women among us who over the past year have experienced storm after storm, and have found themselves in a place they never thought they would ever be in.

            The more I think about this concept of storms the more I am brought face to face with the fact that the four gospel narratives are more than simply Jesus. Although I wholeheartedly believe that Jesus is at the very heart of the gospels—and not only at the heart of the gospels, but also at the heart of the epistles, the book of Acts, and the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ—is and has always been the person of Jesus Christ. With that being understood, however, I am convinced that we cannot truly understand the four gospel narratives without and apart from the lives of all those whom Jesus interacted with and all those whom Jesus met in the midst of the storms which they faced within their lives. I am absolutely and completely convinced there is something truly awesome and powerful when reading the four gospel narratives that they must be understood concerning and regarding the storms which countless men and women faced within their lives and how Jesus entered into their storms and brought deliverance, brought freedom, brought healing, brought cleansing, brought hope, brought life, and so much more. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the incredibly powerful truth surrounding Jesus and the countless storms He would enter into during those three and a half years He walked upon the earth. We must needs realize and recognize that it wasn’t merely the physical storms which the disciples faced while in the midst of the sea, but it was also about the unseen storms those countless men and women whom Jesus ministered to faced within and throughout their lives. We dare not and must not miss the importance of this, for when we read the gospel narratives we have a great and powerful need to call and draw our attention to the fact that Jesus was more than willing to enter into the storms which men and women faced within and throughout their lives.

As you read the seventh chapter you will find a Roman centurion finding himself in the midst of a storm he perhaps did not anticipate or expect to take place, for the beloved physician Luke writes and records how a certain servant of this centurion who was dear unto him was sick and ready to die. In an act of desperation this centurion would send unto Jesus the elders of the Jews beseeching Him that He would come and heal His servant. What we find next is these elders of the Jews coming unto Jesus and beseeching Him instantly that He might come and heal this centurion’s servant, for he loved the nation of Israel and built for them a synagogue. Oh I absolutely love the fact that Jesus was willing to come with the elders of the Jews based on their request, and was willing to enter into the storm which this man faced. That which we find within this passage and portion of Scripture is truly and entirely astonishing when you take the time to think about how Jesus was willing to make the journey unto the home of this Roman centurion that He might heal his servant who was sick and on the verge of death. What an incredibly powerful truth it is to read the words found in this portion of Scripture and how Jesus was very much aware of the storm which this centurion and his servant were facing. With this being said, it was truly awesome and powerful to think about and consider the fact that Jesus was willing to enter into this man’s storm—and not only this man’s storm, but also the storm of his servant—that He might bring healing. What’s more, is that although Jesus was willing to enter into the storm of this particular centurion and was willing to come under his roof, the centurion would send friends unto Jesus while He was on the way unto his house declaring unto him that he was not worthy to have Him come under his roof, but He needed only speak the word and his servant would be healed. Oh pause and consider the tremendous truth surrounding the words found within this passage, for Jesus was willing to enter into the storm which this centurion was facing, and was even willing to enter into this man’s house to heal his servant, and yet the centurion would himself send friends unto Jesus declaring that he was not worthy to have Him come under his roof, and that there was authority and power in the word Jesus would speak.

            The seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the beloved physician Luke is incredibly powerful, for at the very beginning of this chapter we find Jesus being invited into the storm which one faced and experienced, while immediately after that we find Jesus entering into the storm another was facing and experiencing. It is truly something interesting to read and consider the words found in this particular chapter, for there are times within our lives when we invite Jesus to enter into the storms which we face, while there are times when Jesus enters into and inserts Himself into the storms we face within our lives. There is not a doubt in my mind that what we find within this portion of Scripture brings us face to face with the awesome and powerful truth concerning Jesus and that He is not only willing to enter into our storms as a direct result of our inviting Him, but Jesus is also willing to enter into and insert Himself in the midst of our storms. In the beginning of this portion of Scripture we find the Roman centurion inviting Jesus into the midst of the storm of his centurion lying at home sick and on the verge of death, and his inviting Jesus to come into the midst of that storm. After Jesus would speak the word that would heal the servant of this centurion Jesus would enter into a city called Nain and would be accompanied by many of His disciples and much people. Luke writes and records that when Jesus came near to the gate of the city there was a dead man who was being carried out, which was the only son of his mother who was a widow. What’s more, is that Luke also records that much people of the city were with this woman as they accompanied her—undoubtedly to the place of his burial. What we find in this particular portion of Scripture is that when Jesus saw and beheld this widow and her son who was dead and being brought out of the city, He had compassion on her.

            I am absolutely and completely gripped and captivated with and by the words found in this portion of Scripture, for within the four gospels we find two distinct examples and accounts of death. There were other examples and instances of death found within the gospels, for we witness and behold in the gospel narratives how Jairus’ daughter would lie home sick, and how while Jesus was on the way to come unto the home of Jairus there were those from his village who would send word unto him that his daughter was dead and that he no longer had a need to trouble the master. We know that Jesus would instruct and encourage Jairus to not be afraid and to believe, and he would see the glory of God. What we find in this particular instance in the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke is Jesus showing up in a city at the same time a dead son was being brought out—and not only a dead son, but also the only son of a widow who had already buried her husband. If there is one thing which I absolutely love about this particular passage it’s that Jesus wasn’t willing to allow this woman to bury her son. Although this woman had indeed and had in fact buried her husband at some point in the past, Jesus was not willing to allow her to bury her son as well. What we find in this portion of Scripture is truly awesome and powerful when you take the time to think about and consider it, for it forces us to acknowledge and come face to face with the tremendous truth that not only did Jesus have compassion upon this woman, but it would be that compassion which Jesus had for and toward this woman that would cause Him to intervene in the midst of the storm which she herself was facing. For this woman she would face the storm of death—and not only would she face and experience the storm of death, but she would also face the storm of death for the second time with her life, as she had already witnessed the death of her husband and had buried him.

            What I truly love and appreciate about the words found in this portion of Scripture is that it calls and draws our attention to the awesome and wonderful truth surrounding this particular portion of Scripture it’s that Jesus was not willing to allow this woman to bury her one and only son. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that this woman felt as though all hope was lost and that not only had she lost her husband of however many years, but she had also lost her son. Scripture is unclear how old her son was, nor how long ago her husband had died, but what we do  know from this passage is that this woman had already experienced the death and loss of her son. Now we find this woman at some point in the future losing her son as well. We don’t know what caused the death of her son, however, we do know that he was indeed dead and had died within this city of Nain. What is truly astonishing and truly remarkable when I read the words found in this portion of Scripture is that within the gospels we find Jesus showing up at the graveside of one who was indeed buried and had in fact been buried for four days, while Jesus would show up at the entrance of this city while a dead son was being brought out of the city. It would be when Jesus came nigh unto the gate of this city that He would behold this great crowd of people which would bring out this one and only son of this widow, and how there was much people who were accompanying this widow—perhaps to the burial place for her son. If there is one thing we have great need of recognizing and understanding when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture it’s that there are times within our lives when Jesus can and will show up at our graves and our tombs after we have been dead and buried, and it is there outside and at the place of our tomb and grave He not only calls for the stone to be rolled away and removed, but also calls those which are dead to come forth from the midst of the grave. There are other times when Jesus will show up before we even arrive at the grave and tomb and will raise us up from death to life.

            Oh dear brother, oh dear sister—it is truly something awesome and powerful to read the words which are found in this portion and passage of Scripture, for the words we find here bring us face to face with one of the greatest truths surrounding Jesus, for what we find concerning the Lord Jesus Christ is that there are times within our lives when Jesus could have showed up at our bedside and brought healing to our lives, and yet instead of showing up at our bedside thus healing us and preventing death, He instead shows up at our gravesides. What’s more, is that not only did Jesus show up at the tomb of Lazarus, but Scripture records how Jesus showed up at the tomb of Lazarus four days after He had originally been buried. Jesus could have showed up at Lazarus’ bedside and brought healing into his life, thus preventing him from dying, however, what we find is Jesus showing up four days after he had been buried in the grave. In the case of the widow of Nain and her son Jesus showed up after this one and only son had died, and as this son was being brought out of the city. Oh Jesus would not show up at the bedside of this son and bring healing into his physical body, and we in fact don’t know what caused this son to die in the first place. What we find within this portion of Scripture is Jesus showing up as this one and only son was being brought out of the city, and how Jesus would have compassion upon this widow. This particular narrative presents us with the powerful picture of Jesus showing up in a place of death—and not only in a place of death, but also in a place of sorrow—and having compassion in that very place. Scripture makes it very clear that Jesus showed up when He did as this woman was watching others carry the body of her dead son unto the place where he would be buried. Oh how remarkable and wonderful it is when you think about and consider the fact that Jesus did not show up and bring healing into the life of this one and only son, thus preventing him from dying, however, He would show up as this one and only son would be brought out of the city to be buried.

            I absolutely love what is found within this portion and passage of Scripture, for what we find within it is an incredibly awesome and powerful picture surrounding Jesus, and how Jesus would enter into the midst of the storm of death this woman would face, and how He would not only bring compassion into the midst of that storm, but also how Jesus would bring resurrection and life into the midst of it. It is truly awesome and powerful to think about and consider the words found in this portion and passage of Scripture, for the words we find here bring us face to face with Jesus entering into the midst of this woman’s storm and bringing resurrection and life into the midst of death. I continue to be absolutely and incredibly captivated with and by the fact that Jesus would show up right when He did and would not allow this woman to bury her son. Undoubtedly Jesus was well aware of the fact that this woman had indeed lost her husband and thought she had now lost her son, and Jesus was not willing to allow this woman to allow her to bury her son. Oh Jesus would not do anything to bring this woman’s husband back, however, we find Jesus showing up at the gate of the city at just the right time ordained and appointed by the living God, for Jesus would show up as this one and only son’s dead body would be brought out of the city. WE must needs realize and understand how absolutely incredible this truly is, for it would not only be about Jesus showing up at the time when He did, but also showing up and having compassion upon this woman. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that had Jesus showed up any later He might not have witnessed this funeral procession, and this woman might have indeed and might have in fact buried her son. Jesus could have very well shown up after the procession and burial had been completed, and even after this woman had buried her son, and might or might not have been able to do anything to help her. We know that Jesus showed up at the tomb of Lazarus—and not only showed up at the tomb of Lazarus, but after Lazarus had been dead and buried four days—and raised him from death to life.

As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the incredible significance of what is found within this passage and portion of Scripture, for what we find here is a strong and powerful picture of Jesus showing up at the gate of this city as this widow was preparing to bury her one and only son. Jesus would show up at the exact and precise time He did, and I would argue and contend that Jesus showed up exactly when He was ordained and appointed to. I do not believe for one moment that Jesus showed up later than He should, but that He showed up exactly when He was ordained and appointed by the Father. Oh it was indeed true that this widow needed to pass through the valley of the shadow of death, however, it would be in that valley of the shadow of death Jesus would bring resurrection and life. I am absolutely and completely convinced when reading the words found in this particular portion of Scripture we find a truly awesome and picture of Jesus showing up at the precise time He did that He might step and entering into this valley of the shadow of death this widow was walking through once more that He might overturn death and might bring life and resurrection. It is something worth thinking about and considering the words found in this portion of Scripture, for what we find here is Jesus showing up exactly when He was supposed to show up—and not only showing up, but also exercising compassion toward this woman. It would be the compassion of Jesus that would cause Him to encourage this widow—and more than simply encourage this widow, but also command this young man to rise from the place where he was lying. Oh how beautiful it is to read how not only would Jesus raise this man from his place of death, but He would also deliver him to his mother. In addition to Jesus refusing to allow this woman to bury her one and only son, Jesus would raise this young man from death to life and would return him to his mother. What an incredibly beautiful encounter this was with the Lord Jesus Christ, and how Jesus would show up at just the right time in the midst of the storm this woman faced that He might bring life and resurrection in the midst of the valley of the shadow of death. Oh that we would recognize and understand that not only can Jesus show up in the midst of our storms and bring peace, but Jesus can also show up in the midst of the valleys of the shadow of death we face and walk through, and brings life and resurrection.

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