From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
The Bible readings for today are Matthew 8:14-34 and Mark 4-5. In Matthew’s narrative, Jesus teaches the requirements to be a disciple of His (Matt. 8:18-22). In 1916, Robert Frost published one of his famous poems, “The Road Not Taken.” The poem has caused many people throughout the years to reflect over their lives to consider what made the difference. Individuals who are successful academically and professionally, when faced with a situation or challenge in life didn’t take the easy or most convenient road in life. But they assessed the situation and selected the route with the best outcome for them regardless of the difficulties and demands. Frost said, “I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Jesus, challenges those who will be one of His disciples to be willing to travel the road not taken by many to become and remain one of His disciples. Anyone can be a follower of Christ, but only those who are willing to pay the cost or make the necessary sacrifices will be known as true disciples. Are you willing to travel the road less taken? Next week, when we read Luke’s narrative of this challenge, we shall examine more specifically the requirements demanded of those desiring to be a disciple of Christ (Luke 9:57-62).
After Jesus described to the crowd the cost of discipleship, He crossed the Sea of Galilee to the other side (Mk. 4:35-41). This sea because of its location was subject to storms, especially in the evening when the cooler air from Mount Hermon would mix with the warm moist air around Galilee. As Jesus and the disciples were crossing the sea, a storm emerged. Several insights can be deducted from this experience, such as:
1. Storms will occur in the life of every person living;
2. Storms are unpredictable;
3. God has promised to not allow us to encounter a storm that we can’t manage with His help;
4. The occurring of a storm in our lives doesn’t mean God has forsaken us or we are being punished;
5. In the storms of life, we are never alone;
6. God knows and cares when things happen in our lives; and
7. In our storms, we need to learn to “be still” that is, be relaxed and trust God to deliver us.
As a disciple of Christ, this storm prepared Peter for the many storms in his life. He offers the following advice to us in the times of storms. He says rejoice with “joy inexpressible” because we serve a God who is very capable of bringing us through any situation in life (I Pet. 1:5, 8).