Faith and Facts
Follow Jesus long enough and what you know will not make sense.
In the Bible, Jesus consistently put those who followed him in situations that stretched them to the limit of what they knew. In one story (Luke 8) Jesus travels with his followers in a boat, crossing from one side of the Lake of Galilee to the other during the night. In the middle of the journey a storm comes up and starts violently tossing the boat. Waves are crashing, the storm is intensifying, and in the middle of all of this Jesus, the leader of the pack, is asleep.
The disciples knew they were in trouble. They grew up on this lake and knew its patterns well. Boats also were their life, and they knew when and when not to worry. We could even go one step further. Not only did the disciples know when a storm was dangerous, they knew that they knew they were right.
Jesus’ followers did the only thing they could – they panicked! They went and found Jesus and woke him up to tell him everyone was about to drown. It’s what they knew, and in their panic they showed they clearly did not know who Jesus is. In other stories, the disciples will call Jesus a teacher or a prophet – not exactly the kind of guy who can save a sinking boat. Whatever they thought of Jesus, each of them knew that they knew what happened next was impossible.
Then this happens – He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. Where is your faith?”.
Silence follows. This is one of those moments where you are so stunned at what just happened you can only try and take in the moment. As we try to do this with the disciples as readers of the story, all we can say along with them is – we don’t have any faith. The disciples literally did not believe what they just saw, and in the disruption received an invitation to look at the world a different way through the miracle they witnessed firsthand.
There is what we know and then there is what we believe. Another way to say it might be, faith beats facts. Facts are good, we need them and to learn as many as we can is a goal worth pursuing. There is a point, though, where facts break down, and when they do Jesus extends an invitation to see our world a different way.
Faith may seem confusing at first, but like boat trips it is a journey worth taking. Luke 8 tells us, In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
When they answered the question, they were amazed again.
You might be too.