The marvelous thing about the influence of Jesus is found in the very nature of the things that He influenced. Here in Matthew we find Jesus speaking to, and exercising authority over the wayward forces of the winds and the sea. These are elements of nature that, by their very nature, cannot be counted on or controlled. So, surely if One could rule these then He must have the root of royalty – deity even – in Him.
We marvel at the authority He exercised over these erratic elements in the same way that those men on the Sea of Galilee did that day. To see the winds and sea obey Him says so much about who He is. That’s why it is not the number of His followers that is so startling, for Mohammad and Buddha had more followers than Jesus. No, it is not the quantity of His followers, but rather the quality of His followers that is seen as so amazing. For, they are drawn from the winds and the sea, the wayward forces. The followers of Mohammad and Buddha lived in a stagnant place. They didn’t stand by the shore of the sea, but by the side of a dead pool. They heard no waves, felt no wind, they listened to no murmur of the storm. The ruled with a rod of iron over an empire whose minds were only half awake.
Jesus’ mission is not to the mindless multitude. His is a mission by the sea. His message was delivered in front of the winds. He spoke to minds which were already “on the wing.” You see, at the time of the coming of Christ, Europe had already come over into Asia and society was forever being changed. Men had ceased to be uniform; they had begun to think independently. Opposite tastes were emerging and opposing schools of thought were rising, and He took representatives from each school of thought. He conquered men in the midst of their various worldviews. He did not first ask them to give up their individuality. He took them in to the ark just as they were – “of every kind.” He did not ask them first to become of one mind, one nature. He let them keep their unique personalities, different tastes, specific likings. He allowed the winds to blow as before and the sea to roll as it had. He only required one thing from each of them – complete and total obedience to Him. No wonder the men of Galilee were amazed!
“Lord, You have overseen an empire of the West, an empire of the winds and the sea. Others may have mastered the Eastern mind, but they have simply ruled with a scepter over sleeping souls and passionless hearts. But You have ruled where passion reigns. Your flag has flown in the middle of the storms of the spirit. You have been most loved and adored where the heartbeats of life are strongest. Yours is not an abusive authority over a bruised and broken people. Yours is not the deadly dominion over the valley and the shadow of death. Your Kingdom not only have the power, but the glory. Your subjects are free souls, living hearts. You are King, not where Buddha is king – in the middle of a graveyard; not as Mohammad is king – wearing grave clothes. You are King where the streams flow, where the rivers run, where the torrents sweep, there the breezes dance and play. Your people are willing in the day of Your power- the winds and the sea obey You!”