Why Are You Afraid?
“Why are you afraid?” he asked. This has to be one of the strangest questions Jesus ever asked his disciples. And this blog post explains why.
What Happened Leading Up To The Question
After a long day of teaching Jesus tells his disciples to jump into the boat and go over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. But as they make their way across, a storm comes up. Some of the disciples are experienced commercial fishermen, so they’re familiar with the Sea of Galilee and its associated weather. With that in mind it follows, this storm that comes up, it’s well beyond the norm for storms in that area. The winds are extreme to the point where waves are covering the boat. (Matthew 8:23-27) The storm is so intense that these experienced commercial fishermen are convinced they’re going to die. Meanwhile Jesus, likely exhausted from teaching and healing the pressing multitude, is in the back, asleep.
So they wake him up and they say, “…do you not care that we are perishing?”
And he asks them, “Why are you afraid?”
Why I Become Afraid
Why are you afraid? Under the circumstances it seems like a strange question to me. Under the current circumstances of the disciples, I have to confess, fear feels like a reasonable reaction to me. And maybe you’ve experienced that same feeling. I know I have. I’ve experienced that feeling like I was drowning in my problems. Overwhelmed by difficulties. The storm in my life was way beyond my own energy and ability to overcome. And it felt like God didn’t care. It felt like He was napping in the back of the boat.
Have you ever felt that way?
I have a friend who felt that way about his diseased body. I have another friend who felt that way about his unemployment. And another friend who felt that way about his lonely single lifestyle.
I think we have all felt that way. But I think Jesus would ask each of us the same question, “Why are you afraid?”
What He Said Next
Jesus didn’t stop after he asked, “Why are you afraid?” He asked a second question that provides insight into why he asked the first. His second question was this: Continue reading