Sunday, March 6, 2011

2 Fears. 2 Asleep.

This is an old familiar passage about Jesus calming the storm. The last time this passage touched me was on 18 Jun 2004. Then the message was on 3 greatest things. The Greatest Irony – Stormy weather and yet Jesus was asleep. The Greatest Accusation – that Jesus do not care. The Greatest Need – Faith in the storms of life. It was a pretty need outline which I used to share to others then. What other thoughts could come out of this passage now? (That’s my challenge – squeezing fresh wine from old grapes).

Now on reading slowly, the part that leapt out is the phrase, “and they became very much afraid” v.41. It was a 2nd fear. The 1st was a fear of the storm, fear that they will be drowned. This 2nd fear was different. Here was the Master that they know, and yet suddenly they were gripped in fear, because there is suddenly so much they don’t know about Him now – He has powers over nature. He can evoke fear when we encountered Him. The fear here comprises surprise, awe, maybe like a positive kind of fear – because you know that He’s great and He is for you.

How much do I know of this fear? Have I became or ever become afraid of Him before? Thinking back, there was at least 1 clear incident of fear in God. During the 80s, in my own young faith, I did not invite my parents to the evangelistic meeting because they are on a NZ tour. But something happened – my aunt suddenly passed away and they rushed back, and technically still in time to attend the meeting if they wanted to. That incident struck me as I was shocked that such things can actually happened. Sadly such awesome incidents are few and far in between.

Why am I not very fearful of Him?

Maybe it’s because I have not encountered the ‘sleeping’ God and am too busy trying to bail out the water and trying to keep afloat. But here, maybe there’s a twist. He’s wide awake actually, waiting to be called upon. We are the ones sleeping in the storm, not knowing that we can ask the Almighty God for help in the storms of our lives. And that is why we are so timid and have no faith.

LORD, let me ‘become very much afraid’ of you, in the good sense of the word. I need this positive fear to rise up in faith, steer clear of sin, and hunger to share my faith. Help me to walk in such revival encounters daily so that my Christian walk is fresh, vibrant and fearful.

Penned 11 Apr 09, posted now.

Incomplete Commentary on Matthew (Opus imperfectum), Volume 1 (Ancient Christian Texts)

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible