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Thought for the weekend: The authority of Jesus

By Rev Gareth Burke

For many people, August means holidays. Indeed, you might be reading this article while sitting on Portstewart Strand or cruising on Lough Erne.

Take a moment to think back over past holidays.

See if you can recall the most memorable holiday you've ever had. Now I'm not asking you to recall the most enjoyable holiday, but the most memorable. It may be memorable for all the wrong reasons - your flights were delayed for 16 hours, the children got food poisoning, or whatever. But it was certainly memorable.

I think my most memorable holiday was about 30 years ago. A group of us, all students in Edinburgh, hired a fishing boat and went on an expedition to Saint Kilda. Saint Kilda is a remote island to the far west of the Outer Hebrides. The last residents on the island were evacuated in 1930 and, apart from a small military base, it was essentially uninhabited.

We boarded the boat in Oban and then set sail for our remote destination. At first everything was fine, but then a horrendous storm suddenly developed. I can still vividly recall one of the boys climbing up a small ladder while carrying his dinner on a tray. Soon, baked beans and chips were raining down on us all. We were advised to go below deck and to lie on our bunk beds. The whole thing was terrifying, to be honest, and went on for some time.

The disciples of Jesus had a very similar experience on the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4: 35-41). They were in a boat crossing the lake when a fierce storm blew up. Jesus was sound asleep in the boat, utterly unmoved by the stormy conditions. The disciples were full of fear and somewhat distressed by the inaction of Jesus in the whole situation.

Eventually they woke him up suggesting, wrongly, that He didn't care about them. Jesus simply spoke to the wind and the waves and commanded them to 'Be still'. We're told that 'the wind died down and it was completely calm'.

Quite amazing! The power and authority of Jesus. There's nothing He can't do.

You know, the Bible tells us that He even has the authority to forgive sin (Luke 5: 24).

Yes, if we come to Him confessing our sins, He's able and willing to forgive us. The mighty Jesus, He can do it.

Belfast Telegraph


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