Will God speak to us out of the storm? Always, but have you ever been going through one of those storms of life and felt God forgot about you? Perhaps you felt Jesus was “Sleeping on the Job.” Did you ask, “Jesus, don’t you care?” Today, we read about a storm and Jesus truly was sleeping on the job.


By Delbert Young

Was Jesus Sleeping on the Job? (Luke 8:22-25)


Sermon video


Was Jesus Sleeping on the Job? – Luke 8:22-25

Scriptures: Proverbs 1:27; Job 40:6; Luke 8:22-23; Luke 8:24; Mark 4:38; Luke 8:24; Mark 4:39; Luke 8:25

When you think about a storm what do you think? Certainly, hurricanes, tornadoes, rain storms, and snow storms and the concern and fear they bring. There are also storms of life we all experience. The Bible constantly relates the calamities of life to storms.

Proverbs 1:27 WHEN calamity overtakes you LIKE A STORMWHEN disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, WHEN distress and trouble overwhelm you.

Calamities, disasters, distress, and troubles are storms of life. We experience storms of Biblical proportions in marriage, finances, family, occupation, health, etc, right? We also read,

Job 40:6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the STORM:

Will God speak to us out of the storm? Always, but have you ever been going through one of those storms of life and felt God forgot about you? Perhaps you felt Jesus was “Sleeping on the Job.” Did you ask, “Jesus, don’t you care?” Today, we read about a storm and Jesus truly was sleeping on the job. Let’s read.

Luke 8:22-23 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. AS THEY SAILED, HE FELL ASLEEP. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

Jesus decided to go for a sail boat ride across the Sea (lake) of Galilee. The destination was interesting, but that’s for next time. It was about a seven mile sail at most as that’s the widest point of the Sea of Galilee. Have you ever been sailing? It amazes me watching a sailboat being maneuvered with great skill. There’s no engine noise, only the sounds of the boat slicing through the water and the wind in the sails. It’s quiet, peaceful, Jesus obviously exhausted curled up with a pillow (Mar 4:38), and “as they sailed, he fell asleep,” but a horrific stormcame down on them.

As I did my research, I learned the Sea of Galilee, is one of the most studied bodies of water. You Tube and the web have many videos and articles about it. It is 696 feet below sea level making it the lowest lake on the planet. It’s bordered by hills on the west and sheer cliffs on the east rising 1,000 – 1,500 feet. It’s fed on the north by snow melting from the Lebanese Mountains including Mount Hermon rising 9,232 feet. The valley area, called Hula, creates a high speed wind “tunnel” from the cold wind blowing down from Mount Hermon. The Jordan River flows out the south end. Hot wind crossing from the deserts on the east pulled down by gravity and plummeting 2,000 feet colliding with the cold air from the north is a perfect atmospheric setup for a sudden tornado or hurricane type situation. In 1992, 10′ waves crashed over a “sea wall” damaging buildings along the shoreline. Add to that the moist wind coming from the west off theMediterranean Sea only thirty miles away and it’s the perfect setup for God to show off his authority over weather and nature.

The old saying goes, “Everybody talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” The reason is no one can. My point is there will be times in life when fronts come together – cold from here, hot from there, winds from there – financial problems collide with marital problems added to occupational situations along with health issues – bringing a severe storm neither you nor anyone can do anything about. Let’s read the verses again.

Luke 8:22-23 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A SQUALL CAME DOWN ON THE LAKE, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in GREAT DANGER.

What began as a leisurely calm, peaceful, restful sailboat ride, probably in Peter’s boat, became a storm. A squall came down. Down from the cliffs the wind plummeted, colliding with the cold air.It’s as if the storm attacked them. Ever felt like that? Something “came down” on you blowing your life around bringing waves high enough to swamp your life. Your future was in great danger.

This was not a Jonah Storm where Jonah disobeyed God causing his storm. These people were doing exactly what Jesus said. This boat ride was God’s idea, not the devil’s idea. We’ve been taught more along the lines “Jesus is a good luck charm.” It’s inferred we won’t experience anything rough if we’re following Jesus. And, if we experience stormy times, we’ve done something wrong. No! Following Jesus doesn’t mean it will always be smooth sailing through life. The truth is, he will send you into a storm even when you are doing exactly what he asked no matter your dedication level. No one was more dedicated than these people in this storm. The truth is nothing will test our dedication and commitment like a storm.

It said “a squall came down on the lake.” Did the squall attack them? Squall islailaps {lah’-ee-laps}meaning whirlwind, a violent attack of wind, never a single gust nor a steady blowing wind, violent storm breaking forth from black thunder clouds in furious gusts, with floods of rain, and throwing everything topsy-turvy.

I’ve fished and boated for years and consider myself an experienced navigator having frequently experienced sudden winds and sudden large waves. The wind blows rain and water through the air sideways striking at whatever speed the wind is blowing – at times, 30 miles an hour. It doesn’t sting. It hurts. It’s blinding. You’re soaked and miserable. It’s difficult to navigate in high seas and high winds with a 150 HP engine. I can’t imagine attempting to navigate in a huge storm with a sail and a rudder. These were experienced sailors, or several were. We can imagine Matthew, the tax collector, holding on while hanging over the side sea-sick and hurling wishing he had taken Dramamine. Certainly, Peter, Andrew, James, and John, the fishermen, had been in storms before on this very lake. They’d always handled the storms before, but today “they were in great danger.”

It doesn’t matter your skill level in life. No matter your expertise, a squall willcome down and attack you. Suddenly the winds and waves of life hit. Life rocks and tosses you around. The storm hurts, blinding you. You’re miserable. It will make you sick and ill. You do all you can. You realize you’re in great danger.Where’s Jesus? Where was Jesus during the disciple’s storm of “great danger”?He was sleeping!

Luke 8:24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “MASTER, MASTER, WE’RE GOING TO DROWN!”

The disciples (plural) were all yelling! “We’re going to drown!” Imagine the pandemonium. Mark adds an interesting thought in his gospel.

Mark 4:38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “TEACHER, DON’T YOU CARE IF WE DROWN?

Have you ever been in a storm and said, or felt, “God, don’t you care?” This is the only story we read about Jesus sleeping (Mat 9; Mar 4) and he’s sleeping in a storm, but not just any storm. It was their storm. They were in pandemonium, but Jesus was sleeping. We know he’s tired, but why’s he sleeping now?

There are times I need God, but it seems heaven has gone to sleep on me. It seems God’s off snoring someplace. “God, don’t you care? Wake up! Help me!”

It’s interesting the disciples did all they could before they cried out to Jesus. One would think they would yell out way before they were close to drowning, but don’t we do this? I’ve talked to people going through horrific storms. I ask, “What is God saying?” Frequently, the response is a look of surprise as if to say, “I haven’t asked God about it. That never crossed my mind.” When you go through storms of life, don’t wait until you’re about to drown before you call out.

Did Jesus care? The truth is Jesus was right there the entire time. Not only was he there, he was going through every wave the disciples went through. Every blast of wind hitting them hit Jesus. No matter what fear I feel in my storms of life, Jesus is right there with me. Though I’m fearful, he’s not. He will never leave me nor forsake me (Heb. 13:5).

Luke 8:24 …He got up and REBUKED THE WIND AND THE RAGING WATERS; the storm subsided, and all was calm.

The wind stopped blowing. The seas fell flat. All was calm. I’m certain the disciples thought as he began speaking to the wind and the raging waters, “He’s insane. That’s not going to help.” They sort of understood speaking to sickness and demons. They’d seen him do that, but speaking to a storm? Have you ever done something like rebuke a storm? Who in their right mind would do such a thing? Well… me, but perhaps I’m not in my right mind. I’ve yelled at hurricanes when threatening my vacation. I’ve yelled at tornado creating weather. I was out on my back porch just a few days ago rebuking a storm. I think, “What could it hurt?” As soon as I begin hearing about tornado warnings, I begin rebuking. I’m sure the disciples thought it crazy until they saw the results. Jesus spoke to storms, to fevers, to demons, to trees. He told us to speak to mountains. Mark tells us what Jesus said.

Mark 4:39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “QUIET! BE STILL!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

King James says, “Peace be still.” Quiet or Peace is siopao {see-o-pah’-o} – silence, hush, muteness, involuntary stillness, inability to speak. Still is phimoo{fee-mo’-o} – to close the mouth, to stop the mouth, make speechless, reduce to silence. Isn’t that interesting! We see wind and waves and atmospheric turbulence. Jesus sees something alive yelling and screaming. Jesus sees something to rebuke and correct. “Hush!” “Be quiet. Set yourself down now!” What do you see?

When we experience storms of life, we should see something alive yelling and screaming at us. It is! Next time rebuke it. Tell it “QUIET! BE STILL! Shut your mouth!” You may be as amazed as were the disciples.

After rebuking the storm, Jesus looked at the disciples and asked…

Luke 8:25 “WHERE IS YOUR FAITH?” he asked his disciples…

Why does Jesus send us into storms? It’s so we can answer for ourselves “Where is my faith?” Jesus didn’t say, “You of little faith.” He asked, “Where is your faith?” He didn’t say they didn’t have faith. Jesus questioned in what, or in whom, is your faith? Not if it was, but where it was.

This gives us tremendous insight. It’s not that we don’t have faith. It’s we place our faith in wrong places. We place it in ourselves, or in something, or in someone.

As I accessed this thought attempting to listen deeply, I asked, “What does that mean? Where was their faith? What could they have done differently in a faith way? I see three things. (1) They could speak to and rebuke the storm themselves. Even if the storm didn’t stop, Jesus would smile because they stuck out their faith. That’s the only thing Jesus did they didn’t do. Jesus rebuked the wind and waves immediately.

(2) They waited until they were about to drown before they cried out to Jesus. Their faith was in themselves. They thought they were the experts on water. What does a carpenter know about boating in a storm? Jesus was the expert concerning preaching, deliverance, and healing, but they were the ones familiar with boats and wind and waves.

What is it you and I know more about than Jesus – your marriage? Jesus was never married. Your finances? Your children? Jesus never had children. We put our faith in ourselves. Finally, just before drowning, we wake Jesus and get him involved in our storm. So, I ask you, “Where is your faith?” For certain a storm will show you “Where is your faith?” Storms have a way of finding the location of your faith. It’s easy to place your faith in Jesus when the sailing is smooth and the skies are clear. It’s not so easy to place your faith in Jesus when sinking and about to drown.

(3) They said, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” Master is epistates {ep-is-tat’-ace} – any sort of superintendent or overseer. I’m certain they were all yelling something, but the thought here is Jesus is “Master,” not “God.” I fear sometimes we think along the lines of Jesus bossing – supervising, overseeing – us rather than as God of everything, even the wind and waves and storms of life. This proves true with the remainder of that verse.

Luke 8:25 …WHO IS THIS? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.

If our faith is where it should be, we don’t ask “Who is this?” Did they still not know? We know he’s Jesus, but do we realize he’s God made flesh? We limit Jesus.

It was after they were rescued from drowning, after they watched Jesus rebuke the wind and waves, after they saw the waves flatten and the wind hush, after they saw a complete calm they asked, “Who is this?” I mean, they should know, right!

We do similarly. We find ourselves in a monster storm of life. We finally call upon Jesus. He speaks to it. The storm dies and life levels. Yet, we still can’t realize he’s God. We think more like, “Sweew! I’m glad I made it through.” Really? Do you not see who he is and why you made it through? We marginalize Jesus as God. We pencil him in here, but not there. We limit him and by so doing we limit ourselves. He’s God of everything. He’s Lord of all.

What fears and terrors haunt you? What do you fear could drown you? Learn to speak to it. Rebuke it! Say, “QUIET! BE STILL!” What is it you need to rebuke? Don’t put your faith in yourself. Get Jesus involved in your storm as quickly as the wind picks up. Realize who Jesus is. He’s way more than your boss. He’s God and loves you and wants you to know who he is. Where’s Jesus in your storm? He could be sleeping, but he’s there through every wave and every blast of wind. He wants to see “Where is your faith.”

Other Related Sermons:

The Resurrection Proofed – Easter sermon video audio notes

Easter Nonsense – sermon video audio notes

I SEE GRACE pt 2 – Easter sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young