As well as you think you might know someone, sometimes they surprise you. My wife surprised me this past week. For the Good Friday service at our church, she was asked to share a word of testimony . . . and she did! Wasn’t going to at first . . . so not her thing. But a Sunday morning sermon on Abraham, Faith 101, and hearing the call to leave your comfort zone. . . mixed with a bit of Holy Spirit prompting . . . and bam! . . . there she is . . . up behind a pulpit . . . in front of a ton of people . . . doing what’s known as public speaking . . . and doing it quite well. Calm, collected, even mixing in a bit of humor (at my expense, however . . . did anyone catch the license number of that bus that I was thrown under? . . . whatever). And I’m thinking, “Who is this?” Pretty cool when you can be surprised by someone you’ve known for over 30 years.
They had probably been hanging out with Jesus for over a year before that day they stepped into the boat. His disciples had been drawn to Him, believing that He was more than a run-of-the-mill rabbi . . . sensing that He was a man of God unlike any man of God they had ever encountered. They had been with Him long enough to start processing His teaching . . . they had been given ears to hear the things of the kingdom explained in parables . . . they had witnessed His power to heal and to cast out demons . . . they had heard His claim, and witnessed the proof, that He, like God, had authority to forgive sin. After a year they were starting to get to know this One they called Master. But that night when He called them to get into the boat with Him and go to the other side, they had no clue as to what else they would learn about Him.
They’re sailing . . . the Master is sleeping . . . and then, the wind starts howling around them . . . the waves begin breaking on top of them . . . panic eventually overflows within them. And they wake Jesus, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey Him?”
(Mark 4:39-41 ESV)
Who is this?!? . . . even the wind and sea obey Him?
I wonder if we’re prone toward getting too familiar with Jesus. By His grace, He’s allowed us to “hang out” with Him for years . . . some of us, since we were just little kids. We’ve heard the stories . . . read the Bible . . . know the lingo . . . and the path becomes a little predictable . . . the walk becomes a little stale . . . the relationship shifts to auto-pilot.
And then He does something . . . like inviting us into a boat about to head into a storm . . . and there shows Himself in a way we’ve never seen . . . displays His power in a way that causes us to say, “Wow!” . . . reveals His faithfulness to His promises in a way that causes us to bow and confess, “Unworthy!” . . . makes known His abiding presence in a manner that compels us to whisper, “Who is this?”
Crazy to think that we could be in relationship with the risen Son of God and not, from time to time, experience some “wow” factor . . . that awe would not sneak up and grab us periodically as He reveals Himself to us. If I’m not asking, “Who is this?” from time to time then maybe I need to check myself.
30+ years with my wife . . . still being surprised. 35+ years with Jesus . . . may I not cease to be in awe and wonder . . . by His grace . . . for His glory.