Bible Society of South Africa

The Question is: Don’t you care if we drown? – 22 July 2022

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

38Jesus was in the back of the boat, sleeping with his head on a pillow. The disciples woke him up and said, “Teacher, don't you care that we are about to die?”

This question, during a storm that Jesus and His disciples shared, shows very poignantly Jesus’ relationship with His disciples as One who is fully human and fully divine; but it also highlights the nature of the relationship He still shares with His disciples today

The serene picture of Jesus peacefully sleeping on a cushion, while a raging storm is causing the waves to flood the boat, takes place in the earlier part of His ministry and is a lesson of faith in itself. Jesus is clearly exhausted after ministering to crowds of people and undisturbed as He recoups His strength.

But the panic-stricken disciples with Him wake Him with admonishing words – “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” After having seen the miracles that he’d performed in their midst they believed that He could and would do something for them – if He would wake up!

Jesus comes to them as both God and friend.

His response is a beautiful example of selflessness; without complaint, He doesn’t hesitate to meet their need as He commands wind and waves to be still, leaving the disciples stunned at their Teacher’s power over nature.

Everyone experiences storms in life, but, if we, like the disciples, are in a relationship with Jesus, when we go through storms He is right with us. St. Augustine says that “when we allow temptations to overcome us, Christ sleeps in us. We forget Christ at such times. Let us, then, remember him. Let us awake him. He will speak. He will rebuke the tempest in the soul, and there will be a great calm.”

Sometimes we may be so disturbed and preoccupied by the storm we’re in that we forget to call for His help, but sometimes we wittingly try to weather the storm by ourselves, causing ourselves needless suffering and despair; we need only ask Him to come to our rescue because He does care.

Jesus understands our struggles because He was with His disciples during their struggles at a time when He most identified with them in their weakness, and He helps us persevere in obedience to His Father as He did.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak.” (Mark 14:38) Jesus has won the fight and by His grace is still there for those who believe in Him, in any circumstances, whether or not we deserve it.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You “made [yourself] nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:7) Thank you that “You understand us. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) I know I am weak and sinful. Help me to pray faithfully and to follow Your example to honour You. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.10
Find us on