Jesus: The Master
by Tami Rudkin
The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm (Luke 8:24, NIV).
When was the last time you went sailing? Perhaps, you’re still smelling the fresh sea breeze, reveling in the warmth of the noontime sun. You’ve splashed your friends and laughed at the antics of yesterday. Now you’ve settled in for a restful, relaxing trip across the peaceful moments of your life. Those are wonderful interludes, ones we all usually have an opportunity to enjoy, at least for a time.
The air was warm, the grass danced in the breeze, the clouds were high and fluffy. Jesus’ followers enjoyed the company of best friends. Comrades, involved in something greater than themselves, they must have felt exhilarated as they breathed the fresh sea air and jumped into the sailing boat to cross the cool, green lake. I suppose there was some laughing, joking about yesterday’s adventure, and finally individual reflection as the lake lulled the passengers into a sleepy state of contentedness.
Jesus fell asleep, taking this moment to rest His missions mind, His undeviating spirit, and His limited earthly body. He was at peace as the waves of the lake lapped against the little boat. Perhaps He reminisced of times He and the Father had walked along seashores, beaten with rolling waves, sharing intimately their hopes for man.
Sleepy eyes, nodding heads, and unaware minds. I wonder when the disciples realized they were in trouble. Did they see the dark storm clouds gathering in a nasty meeting, destined to turn the peaceful lake into a veritable whirlwind of wet disaster? Did they sense the absolute silence and dead calm that warned them of the immanent danger brewing? Or were they so intoxicated by the gentle rocking that they were startled out of their musing when the first drops of violent rain hit their faces?
The details are left to our imagination, but the facts are simply stated.
You can hear the fear in their voices. With exclamations, the disciples began to shake Jesus, screaming above the howling winds and the furious rains, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
They were scared beyond their wildest imagination. Jesus, the friend, the one qualified to impart wisdom, the one who conquers, the one with ultimate authority, shook the bodily fatigue, stood to His feet, and rebuked the wind and raging waves. All became calm . . . except for the fair weather sailors’ beating hearts and shaking knees.
Calling on the Master
Most of the time, when Jesus was referred to as Master, those addressing Him were calling Him Teacher. In this instance, however, I think other things were racing through the minds of the sinking disciples. When they screamed, “Master, Master!” I doubt they were inquiring about the scientific wonders of lightning storms and the development of lake squalls.
No, in this case, I believe they were calling to the One who was the dominant force of the universe (Matthew 28:18). That one Man who conquers all. That one Man who has the ultimate authority over all the earth. That one Man who could take the churning waters threatening to consume them, command, “Peace,” and have complete and immediate obedience. Like servants looking to their master for protection and provision, they pleaded with the One who could meet their needs.
Blue skies don’t last forever.
Maybe you’re looking to the sky about now and calculating just how fast the storm will come and how horrible it will be. You’ve seen storms before, but this one is threatening to swallow you whole. The lake water, once rejuvenating, now menacingly splashes overboard and you begin to scream, “Master, Master, I’m going to drown!”
You’re not interested in a teacher standing at a chalkboard, nor the wealthy vineyard owner, nor even the one who developed the latest and most up-to-date flotation devices. You want the master to be MASTER; you need to be saved!
Those who knew Jesus best referred to Him by many names, but “Master,” called out in the midst of a life-devouring storm, moved Him to action like no other salutation. He came to their rescue; no other would. He came to their rescue; no other could. Jesus came to their rescue because He was the one who had the power, the precedence, and the ultimate authority to speak even to the winds and waves. The powerful forces of nature listened and obeyed because He was, without question, Master.
Our personal storms too can be quieted by the words of Jesus.
This question remains: Will we call him by His rightful title when life’s foreboding clouds gather overhead?
Will we call Him Master?