Jesus in Japan: The One Who Calms Those Covered By Waves

Posted on March 28, 2011


I’m ashamed to say it. It took an entire week of seeing the dozens of videos of that devistating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But finally, it hit me. On the drive into work, I was listening to this story on the radio. An aftershock of my own hit, and I began to realize what had happened to these people. Soon after, I watched this 60 Minutes clip on the devastation of the tsunami and the lives it took. Then the tears came.

Yet, despite my most tender efforts to empathize with them, I doubt I can grasp the magnitude of their grief.

But the days go on, no matter what side of the Pacific you may live. As they went on for me, I came to a well-known pair of stories in my study of Matthew, and I was encouraged to pray for my fellow men suffering on the other side of the Ocean.

In Matthew 8, Jesus and his disciples were just about to sail across the sea of Galilee to go to the Gadarenes. As He was leaving, a scribe came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus response was, “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” In other words, Jesus and all his disciples had nothing outwardly. This was how they lived.

When they finally left on the boat, a “great tempest” arose “so that the boat was covered by the waves”, and the disciples, fearing that they would drown, turned to Jesus and cried “Lord, save us; we are perishing!” Jesus, the King who had nothing outwardly, but who was full of authority inwardly, “rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” They arrived safely in the Gadarenes, and Jesus cast out the demons from two who were previously possessed.

As I read this story, my mind drifted back to the Japanese people, many of which had no place to lay their head. Their lives and even their families have been “covered by the waves.” As I opened to the Lord, a plea came out that these people would also cry out “Lord, save us; we are perishing!” I am certain that the King, who knows what it is to have nothing outwardly, but who is inwardly full of authority, could rebuke “the winds and the sea” of their dispair to bring in “a great calm”, a calm like only He brings.