Cleansing a Leper
It had been a crazy, chaotic day and everyone was exhausted. On the way back to Capernaum a man had approached Jesus and his disciples, a man who had been removed from his community due to his skin disease. “Sir, if you are willing, you can make me clean” he said. Clean would allow order back into his world, would allow him to rejoin his community. Jesus was willing indeed. He reached out and touched him and order was restored to the chaos.
A Roman’s Officer’s Faith
As they entered Capernaum they were greeted by a Roman officer with another request. His orderly was suffering, lying paralyzed at his home. Jesus offers to go and heal him. But the officer understands authority, and doesn’t want Jesus to become unclean by entering into his home. So he asks Jesus to just give the order, knowing he will be healed. And Jesus was amazed. “Go; let it be for you as you have trusted” Jesus said. And it was. Order restored to the chaos.
A Day of Restoration
It had already been quite a day, but as they returned home, the restoration continued. Peter’s mother, and the many people who came that evening, all healed. Order restored to the chaos.
The Wind and The Waves
And as the crowd grew Jesus took his disciples out in the boat. Exhausted, Jesus took a nap. And as often happened on the Galilee, a storm blew in. The wind picked up and the waves were sweeping over the small fishing boat. And though some of the disciples were fishermen, they still didn’t love the sea. And in this storm the disciples were terrified. To the Hebrews, the sea was the abyss.
The Picture of Chaos
For the Israelites the water had always been associated with chaos. It was out of the chaos, hovering over the deep, that God’s words began to bring order to His creation. But chaos returned at the fall, and the chaos of the water destroyed the earth in Noah’s flood. Later, Jesus entered the water of the Jordan, a symbolic entrance into the chaos of this world, and emerged and began to bring order, a restoration of the shalom of the Kingdom.
And here on the boat, as the wind and waves beat against them, the disciples experienced the reality of the chaos in full force. They woke Jesus with terror in their voices, “We’re about to die!” Jesus’ response, “What are you afraid of?” And in the voice that brought the world into being, the voice that had brought healing to so many that day, Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves, and there was calm. Shalom. Peace. Order, from the chaos.
What Kind of Man?
“What kind of man is this, that even then winds and sea obey him?” they asked.
What kind of man hears the cry of those who are suffering and scared because chaos is reigning in their world, truly making it hell on earth? What kind of man not only hears that cry, but through His words brings order and peace. What kind of man brings the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven in the here and now? What kind of man offers shalom when you are overwhelmed by the chaos of your world if you ask and trust?