They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Throughout the movie, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Paul Newman and Robert Redford are chased all over the place by a group of men. These guys were hired by the railroad to hunt them down and bring them to justice.
They start by trying all their normal tricks to escape, but they fail. They then move on to more and greater schemes to lose the elite team of trackers. After each failure, Butch and Sundance turn to one another and ask, “Who are those guys?”
That’s so similar to how the disciples react to Jesus stopping a storm right before their very eyes. They had more than just fear, they feared a great fear. They couldn’t stop saying who is this? They couldn’t get the question out of their minds because there were no answers. There were no comparisons.
This man. This Jesus was altogether different from anyone they’d ever met. He was so far above anyone they’d even thought of. There was no one in their families, histories, or even stories that was in the same league as this Jesus guy.
Who then was this? He had power to command the wind and the waves at will. He spoke and demons left spiritually and emotionally broken people, making them whole again. He spoke or touched and disease left physically broken people, healing them completely. He spoke so clearly and powerfully, leaving the disciples filled with fear and wonder.
I’ll tell you who this is. There is only one possible answer.
You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea— the Lord on high is mighty.
Psalm 89:9, 93:4
Jesus is God. Period. That’s it. That’s the list of options.
I know that we like options. We like to be able to pick and choose not just from a list, but a long list of different options. It gives us a sense of control. A sense of power. A sense of command over our own destiny. But when you come to Jesus, the list of choices gets really short. Really fast.
He clearly claimed to be God. There can be little discussion about that. He was in a class by himself, no one else even comes close. His words, his teaching, his love, and compassion for people. He was so out-of-step with his culture, yet his person and words remain the single most powerful force for good in the history of the world.
Rome, the great and powerful, crumbled under the weight of its own evil and ego. The land of Israel has been overrun by so many armies, it’s a wonder that anything still exists. And yet, the words and life of this unknown teacher, from an insignificant corner of an ancient, destroyed empire, still moves men and women today.
So, here we are more than two-thousand years later, still asking this same question; who is this? Some people have tried to deny that he ever existed, but the evidence is just too overwhelming. Some people have tried to water him down to a good, moral teacher. But that totally ignores his power and personality. Some people have tried to make him into just another guy that we’ve misunderstood. But there is no misunderstanding his resurrection from the dead.
How could we do anything else than fall down at his feet?
What’s stopping us from worshiping and choosing to follow him? Only one thing. We are. Our selfish pride, thinking that we can do better, that we can come up with a better idea. The Bible calls this sin.
Today is the day to abandon ourselves and fall into the arms of the only one who can stop the stormy winds and waves on the sea of life. Today is the day to abandon ourselves and fall into the arms of the only one who can calm the stormy winds and waves within our hearts. He alone has that kind of power. He alone has that kind of authority. He alone has that kind of compassion for us.
What’s stopping us? What’s stopping you?