In todays Gospel, Jesus and the disciples are heading to the “other side” of the sea of Galilee, moving from the mainly Jewish enclave to a more Gentile region. This shows a widening of Jesus’ ministry, he is moving beyond preaching the “Good News” to the people of Israel and is reaching out to non-Jews, to those “outside” his cultural and religious group. He’s expanding his ministry to include “the other”!
The disciples show great fear because their boat is about to capsize, and Jesus is slumbering away! Terrified they awaken him seeking his help and he rebukes the wind and the waves and they become clam. Jesus asks “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” And the disciples are amazed and ask “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” Jesus ties their fear to a lack of faith, basically saying, “do you not yet know who I am, so why are you surprised at what I do?”
The disciples have already seen Jesus perform many miracles and cure many people, the man with the withered hand, Simon’s mother-in-law, the man with the unclean spirit and the cleansing the leper as well as many others. So who did they think he was at this point in their journey with Jesus? Jesus had already appointed “the twelve” and had sent them out to preach “the message”! What were they missing?
I must admit there is something comforting in their humanness, in their lack of fully comprehending who Jesus was -- it puts me a bit at ease! Each of us on our journey with Jesus must pass through howling winds and raging seas and must rely on Jesus to help us make it through the storms of our lives. And remember eventual- ly they do “get it”, they leave the security of the “locked” upper room and risk their lives preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ! How am I being called to leave the security of my “upper room,” to go out into the world and preach the Good News of Jesus Christ by what I say and by what I do?