Rebuke

Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. …  And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest 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 8:18, 23-27

Jesus exhibited His amazing power over creation when He rebuked the wind and calmed the storm that frightened His disciples. But we need to also remember there was another rebuke in this scene. Jesus rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith.

Let me begin with a few things about faith. Jesus does not need to check to see if we have faith. He is the author of it and it is given to each of the elect in the new birth (Hebrews 12:2; Romans 12:3; Ephesians 2:8). Therefore, he is not rebuking the disciples for not having faith. His rebuke comes because they are not using the faith that God has given them.

It is interesting to note that Jesus performs this miracle even though the disciples were not acting in faith. Many charlatan “faith healers” blame the person for their personal lack of faith when the “healer” can’t heal them. This proves that they are false prophets.  Further, what wondrous  compassion Jesus shows to His disciples when, even though they were acting without faith, He calms the storm in mercy.

God is sovereign in His acts of mercy and grace. Our faith cannot be the cause of God’s actions because without God acting first, we would not have faith at all!

Faith is given to us so that we can recognize the actions of God toward us and around us. Without faith we might attribute acts of mercy to luck or coincidence. With faith, we are able to see God at work in our lives. When we actively use our God-given gift of faith, we can trust that the Lord is with us even though storms are raging all around. Had the disciples been acting in faith, they would have been asleep in peace as well.

Jesus does not condemn His disciples for their lack of faith, He rebukes them in chastisement. Why?  Because…

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Hebrews 12:6

I pray that the Lord will continue to remind us to trust Him, not just when things are easy, but especially when times are hard and troubles seem to prevail.

O near to the Rock let me keep

If blessings or sorrow prevail,

Or climbing the mountain way steep,

Or walking the shadowy vale.

O then to the Rock let me fly,

To the Rock that is higher than I;

O then to the Rock let me fly,

To the Rock that is higher than I!

Erastus Johnson

2 thoughts on “Rebuke

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