We’re all familiar with the movie director, Steven Spielberg. He’s made a boatload of movies—from franchise pictures like Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park, to the cute movie about the extra-terrestrial, to the powerful, dramatic portrayals of Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. But before he made any of those, he made a movie about three guys, a boat that was too small, and a shark that was too big.
It is called Jaws and it has absolutely nothing to do with the silly shark movies that are made these days where they drop out of the sky. Jaws was a real movie with a real tag line— “You’re going to need a bigger boat!” In fact, you will still occasionally hear someone in an overwhelming situation say, “We’re going to need a bigger boat!”
I wonder if that’s what the disciples were thinking when they were caught up in a furious storm while trying to cross Lake Galilee? After all, waves were breaking over the boat and it probably felt like they were going to break the it. I’m sure a bigger boat seemed like a good idea.
But that wasn’t really the problem.
After all, Jesus was in the boat with them. True, He was sleeping (quite soundly), but how hard would it have been to wake Him up? They could have said, “Lord, we’re getting ready to have a prayer meeting about this killer storm and we thought you might want to join us.”
But of course, that’s’ not the way it played out. Instead, the disciples went with, “Don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus had a couple of questions of His own. The first was, “Why are you so afraid?” The second one was, “Do you still have no faith?”
I heard someone say, Faith is believing in advance what will only make sense in your rearview mirror. That sounds about right. Jesus was going to get the disciples to the other side of the lake—He had told them that. But of course, in the midst of a potentially boat-breaking storm, the disciples didn’t see how that was possible. They didn’t know Jesus could and would speak the storm into stillness. They failed to believe in advance what they would soon clearly see in their rearview mirror.
And it’s not any different for us, is it? It’s still easy to trust God when we think we can see how all of the pieces are going to fit together. But what happens when the wind picks up and we get a little water in our boat? Will our faith dissolve like the water-soluble faith of the disciples, or will we continue to believe despite appearances?
The good news is that the disciples who at times failed so spectacularly, grew into disciples who learned to trust in Jesus no matter what the circumstances were. It’s James, losing his life rather than his faith (Acts 12). It’s his brother John, exiled on Patmos because of his faith, but nonetheless still speaking out boldly for Jesus.
And there’s absolutely no reason why it can’t be us as well. As someone has noted, Jesus didn’t come into the world to convict us of sin, but to convince us of our possibilities through Him.
We don’t need a bigger boat, just a deeper faith.