I had a discussion today with a class on the message of the miracles of the New Testament. I noted that the calming of the sea in Mark 4:35-41 (and Matthew 8:23-27) not only showed Jesus’ power over the elements, but was remarkable even to his disciples as in their minds only God could control nature. “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” The realization must have been staggering to them.
The immediate responses I received, on the other hand were, “It’s impossible,” and “”How do we know?” To the second, the short answer is that a witness (Matthew) recorded it. To the first, I responded that if it happened, it by definition is not impossible. To which, I received the “Well, I don’t believe it” reply.
I gave the following points to ponder. If an Inuit was told 100 years ago of a place where it was never colder than 50 degrees F, and that less than a inch of precipitation fell in a year, might they show disbelief? But, does their disbelief mean the Sahara didn’t exist. And if a resident of North Africa were told of a land where feet of frozen rain fell each year, and that the temperature seldom rose above 50, might they show a similar skepticism? In short, just because we with our limited experience have not witnessed an event, does than stop it from being true?
The challenge in this age of doubt is for people (including people of faith) to open our horizons to the power of the divine. We need to see beyond our “facts;” and trust.
The message of the miracles is as important today as it was to the first disciples. We need to step out of our comfort zones and assumptions, and marvel at the acts. It should not be a case of “Well, it’s impossible;” but rather of “Who is this, that even the winds and waves obey Him.”
Are we open to that, today?