They were experienced sailors. They knew how to navigate the seas. And they had spent many hours on this body of water. So when a violent storm arose, they knew they were in trouble. They jettisoned cargo and began rowing for their lives.
So you can imagine their frustration when they realized that one of their crew was missing—not just missing, but asleep in the hull. And not just anyone, but their leader. So they frantically woke him up: “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Their leader got up, walked to the deck, and spoke to the storm: “Quiet! Be still!” And amazingly the storm stopped.
If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you’ve heard that story about Jesus. What is strikingly relevant today are His words at the end of that account: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mk 4.35–41).
Jesus makes a connection between fear and faith that recurs throughout the Scripture and that forms the backbone of our text today. Jerusalem was in a moment much like London in 1940. A lethal threat was at the doorstep, though for Jerusalem the threat was not Germany but Assyria. At this fearful moment, God speaks words of hope and grace, words to inspire faith, words to dispel fear.
Text: Isaiah 33