37 On the boat of the faith community

Luke 8:22-25
Psalms 121:1-8
T From the first miracle

 Training of disciples got closer to the final stage. After many questions, "How do you hear words of God which originated in the example of planting seeds?", Luke takes up four miracles (8:22 -56) that Jesus did. Luke seems to give one each meaning to them, but I want to hear that meaning. After having let disciples experience four miracles, would their training finish such one step?; it becomes the end for the time being. A new program to finally dispatch apostles to towns and villages begins from Chapter 9. It is from the first miracle (8:22-25), this morning.

 "Now it comes about on one of those days, that He and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, 'Let us go over to the other side of the lake.'. And they launched out." (22) When we look it from Capernaum of the opposite bank of the Sea of Galilee, there is a territory of Philippos in the southeast, and there is a foreigner territory / Decapolis in the northeast. Bethsaida was a place where Peter and John were called by Jesus and became disciples, and it was this place; and He often went to Bethsaida, possibly would Jesus intend to leave for that neighborhood? However, there is it at Verse 26 thus, "And they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes", and it was a land of foreigners / Decapolis. Possibly, the course of the ship may have been out of order for a storm. It seems that Jesus went to this district for the first time; but after this, the lunch to 4,000 people was performed in this ground would be results of this event that Jesus's eyes were flowed into there, I think.

 Anyway, according to Matthew who wrote this article in earlier than the articles of Luke and Mark (8:23 -27), it seems that He started a boat to leave from the crowd for a while, to heal fatigue of disciples who worked busily, and to have a break. However, Luke did not mention such a thing at all, and wrote, "But as they were sailing along He fell asleep;" (23). And there, there is Jesus who slept really well, and it has an impression that Jesus only behaved naturally, and it is quite unrelated to the matter that sleep will cause. However, it seems that Luke will say totally this article is the center of the trouble which will be generated from now.


U In fear and despair

 Would it be the time that the boat came to the center of the lake? A gust of wind blew and became a heavy storm. There is it, "and a fierce gale of wind descended upon the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger." (23). A cold dry easterly wind seems to sometimes blow from the Arabian desert to the Sea of Galilee. Especially in winter, it becomes the intense violent storm and it blows down to the small lake like a bottom of mortar, it was surrounded by mountains; and when we watch the circumference with binoculars, we can see the cars which run on the opposite bank. It will point at that "a fierce wind descended upon the lake". In such time, the expert fisherman rarely went out to the center of the lake. It may have approached in the time that is such a danger. There were the expert fishermen such as Peter, Andrew, Jacob, John in the disciples, but there is not at all the trace that they had evaded the danger for some reason. Would the lake be such a calm surface? Or would their sense become dull because they became disciples of Jesus, and because it was a long time since they got off a boat? Anyway, they have begun to row a boat as said, "Let us go over to the other side of the lake.". Because Mark says "other boats" (4:36), it seems that perhaps they have ridden several small boats separately and went to the opposite bank. And, they were rolled up in this violent storm. Surely, it seems that they remembered experience as fishermen and would have worked hard in various ways and would have confronted against a heavy storm, but, Luke and Matthew and Mark remained silent to their effort entirely, and said, "they began to be swamped and to be in danger. And they came to Him and woke Him up, saying, 'Master, Master , we were perishing!'". (24) The expert fishermen drew close to Jesus who is really amateur for a lake and a boat.

 About the words of disciples of this time, Matthew wrote, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing!", and Mark wrote, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?". Anyway, that word, "be perishing" which is common to both, it is the words of the meaning of "falling". When we total it, their state will be seen that it is not already a stage to scrape out water from the boat or to operate a boat. At there, it seems that their instinctive fear and despair become bare.


V On the boat of the faith community

 In this miracle story, a climax comes. "And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. And He said to them, 'Where is your faith?'. And they were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, 'Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him!'" (24-25) From this surprise of disciples, the act that they came close to Jesus will be clear at all; but, it was never such easy trust that if they waked up Jesus He would take care of them. Perhaps, they could not believe that there was a person who slept in such a disturbance. In Matthew, there is it, "Save us, Lord."; but, even the fragment of such words is not found in Luke (Mark too). Surely Matthew would have an editing policy only for him, and it seems that he inserted that words; but, it seems that Luke and Mark wrote down this article while feeling to want Jesus to share the same fear and despair that disciples faced. Jesus said, "Where is your faith?"; would it not be because Jesus watched their fear and despair and has considered it is a problem of their faith? Matthew and Mark added it, "why are you timid?", to words of Jesus.

 Because some this neighborhood are complexity, I will arrange it. At first, it is from the article of Matthew, let's look at the whole sentence of that part; "And He said to them, 'Why are you timid, you men of little faith?'" (8:26). You know that this order is reverse to Luke. (The article of Mark includes both elements of Matthew and Luke, for some reason; but it does not be asked now.) Of course, because Matthew was written earlier than Luke, the one who reversed words of Jesus is Luke. And Luke has deleted that word, "why are you timid?". Luke seems to be going to tell the message which stepped into one more step more than Matthew.

 His question, "Where is your faith?", would be clear that is fear and despair of disciples, as well as Matthew and Mark. As for the word which Jesus said "Why are you timid?", perhaps it seems there was it in common original material. However, when we hear that Luke deleted it daringly, and softened a nuance called the criticism to them and thought that he wanted to ask there about another "meaning of the faith", the reason to have changed order will be thought same.

 Luke is looking at the faith community / the church, on a small boat in the storm. The warm hand of the Lord was covering there. The fear and the despair are not becoming to the people who are with our Lord. There is it in Psalms 121, "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and the earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." (1-4). The disciples said "Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?"; but it was necessary for them to learn such love of Jesus before they stood on their own feet. We must remember that we are on the boat of the same faith community.